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U.S. Considers New Bosnia Force

Tue., Jan. 28, 1997

The United States and its key allies are actively considering a paramilitary force to capture suspected war criminals in Bosnia-Herzegovina who remain free in defiance of court indictments and an international peace accord, White House and European officials said Monday.

The Clinton administration sees the capture of indicted war criminals and their trial before the U.N. war-crimes tribunal as an important step toward stability in the Balkans. It is also seen as vital to preserving the credibility of the tribunal, which has managed to lay its hands on only a handful of those so far indicted.

Although the proposal for the paramilitary force came from the United States it has received only lukewarm response from European allies.

It also would likely meet with a less than enthusiastic response in the Pentagon and in Congress, where some would view it as a dangerous expansion of the allied mission that would put U.S. troops at risk.

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