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Troops Needed In Bosnia Past December

Thu., July 25, 1996

An international military force will be needed in Bosnia after the NATO-led peace mission ends in December in order to keep war from resuming, the head of the Pentagon’s intelligence agency said Wednesday.

U.S. participation in such a follow-on force may not be necessary, even though the United States’ NATO partners are cautioning that they will stay after December only if the United States does, Gen. Patrick Hughes said.

Testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee, Hughes, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, said, “The continued presence of a Western, or force from NATO and other countries, is a requirement for continued stability in Bosnia.”

Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., the committee chairman, tried to pin down Hughes on whether he believed an international force could function effectively in Bosnia beyond December without the participation of American troops.

“I hate to put a name, like ‘NATO’ or ‘the U.N.’ or ‘the United States’ on this force, but some force, and I think it would probably have to come under some international coalition,” Hughes said, in order to sustain the success achieved so far in disarming and demobilizing the former warring factions.

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