How long in Bosnia?

December 26, 1997

An excerpt from a Wednesday Orange County (Calif.) Register editorial. THE ONLY sliver of hope in President Clinton's announcement that U.S. troops will remain in Bosnia for an indeterminate period is that the sheer arbitrariness of the decision might prompt the long-delayed debate over the role of the United States in a post-communist world that has still not taken place.

The 8,500 U.S. troops helping NATO forces in Bosnia were supposed to leave in June 1998.

Is the United States to be the policeman of the world, sending troops to whatever sad corner of the globe seems to be in need of gendarmes, social workers, democracy-builders or whatever? Or, with our great adversary of the Cold War years no longer a factor, will we concentrate on defending our own borders and citizens, resisting the imperial impulse to run other countries?

tion of war or national emergency by Congress, let alone serious consultation with the American people.

It is hoped it won't take more drastic signs -- deaths among U.S. troops -- to prompt reconsideration of our international role.

Pub Date: 12/26/97

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