KOSOVO AND THE 106TH CONGRESS
Report for Congress
Kosovo and the 106 Congress
Updated January 18, 2001
Specialist in International Relations
Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division
Congressional Research Service The Library of Congress
Kosovo and the 106 Congress
The Kosovo crisis and aftermath dominated U.S. foreign policy during much ofth
the 106 Congress. From 1999 to 2000, international focus on Kosovo evolved from
peace negotiations to a NATO air war to post-war peacekeeping and an international
protectorate for the province. Scenarios regarding the use of U.S. military forces in
and around Kosovo were a central issue in the Congress. Before, during, and after
NATO’s air operation against Serbia in early 1999, some Members of Congress
challenged the President’s authority under the Constitution to engage U.S. armed
forces in military operations in the Balkans without congressional approval. A greater
number of others, however, abandoned or rejected options that might have dictated
a forced removal of U.S. armed forces from Kosovo operations. Antagonistic
relations between Congress and the White House, as well as divisions within both
parties, at times undermined the effort to reach consensus on legislation. For the most
part, Congress supported the President’s requests for funding for military operations,
but was less supportive of funding requests for civilian reconstruction programs.
During Operation Allied Force, Members of Congress spoke out for and against
the mission. The constitutional role of Congress in decisions regarding the use of
force became a prominent focus of debate. However, Congress rejected resolutions
that would declare outright war against Serbia or, alternatively, mandate the removal
of U.S. armed forces from the region. Congress also considered alternative strategies
such as preparing for a possible ground invasion of Serbia and promoting the
democratic opposition to Milosevic’s rule in Serbia.
After Milosevic agreed to NATO’s terms to terminate the air operation in June
1999, attention turned to peacekeeping and the international administration of the
Kosovo province. The commitment of U.S. resources and burden-sharing with the
European allies became a major concern in Congress. Several pieces of legislation
reflected this concern.
Near the end of the 106th Congress, events took a dramatic turn in Serbia.
Slobodan Milosevic was forced to step down from power after losing democratic
elections and facing massive public demonstrations against his continued rule. The
new situation in Serbia and the ongoing peace efforts in Kosovo are likely to be
prominent issues of interest to the new Administration and the 107th Congress.
Changes in the post-Milosevic period may carry implications for the NATO-led
military presence in the Balkans.
This report first reviews key developments in Kosovo and U.S. policy during
1999 and 2000. It then examines the congressional responses to the Kosovo peace
talks at Rambouillet, the NATO air war against Yugoslavia, the aftermath and lessons
learned from the conflict, and the subsequent efforts by the United States and other
countries to reconstruct and stabilize Kosovo. A concluding section looks to
potential trends that may become important in the 107th Congress. Appendices
provide a survey of key legislative provisions on Kosovo.
Introduction ................................................... 1
Developments in Kosovo and U.S. Policy, 1999-2000....................3
Rambouillet and the Prospect of U.S. Participation in Peacekeeping.....6
Operation Allied Force and the Role of Congress....................9
Ongoing Operation and Alternative Strategies.....................13
Arming the Kosovars....................................13
Preparing for a ground invasion............................14
Removing Milosevic from power...........................15
Conflict Aftermath and Lessons Learned.........................16
Resources and Burden-Sharing in Post-Conflict Kosovo.............18
Outlook ...................................................... 22
Appendix 1. 106th Congress, Major Legislation on Kosovo – Status........25
Appendix 2. 106th Congress, Major Legislation on Kosovo – Summaries
Kosovo and the 106 Congress
The Kosovo crisis and aftermath dominated U.S. foreign policy during much ofth
the 106 Congress. Members of Congress considered a steady stream of legislative
proposals over the two-year period, held dozens of hearings on the subject,
participated in frequent consultative briefings with the Clinton Administration, and
many traveled to the region. Congress succeeded in enacting into law expressions of
the sense of Congress on various aspects of Kosovo policy. Some of the
appropriations bills set spending caps on U.S. military and reconstruction
contributions and imposed reporting requirements on executive branch agencies.
However, attempts by some to fundamentally alter U.S. policy, to require explicit
congressional authorization for military operations, or to impose concrete policy
conditions on military spending proved unsuccessful. No clear consensus in Congress
on current or alternative policies in Kosovo emerged before the 2000 elections.
Scenarios regarding the use of U.S. military forces in and around Kosovo were
a central issue for the 106th Congress. These scenarios evolved with changing events.
Anticipating the creation of a peacekeeping force to implement the Rambouillet
accords in early 1999, Congress considered legislation to approve, condition, or block
U.S. participation in such a force. As the situation in Kosovo turned away from peace
talks and toward enforcement action, Congress reviewed proposals that supported or
disapproved of the NATO air operation; the Senate, but not the House, endorsed the
air strikes. Congress later considered but did not agree to resolutions that invoked
the War Powers Resolution in an effort by sponsors to assert Congress’ role in
authorizing the military action. Some Members of Congress challenged the President’s
authority under the Constitution to engage U.S. armed forces in military operations
in the Balkans without congressional approval. A greater number of others, however,
abandoned or rejected options that might have dictated a forced removal of U.S.
armed forces from Kosovo operations.
In spite of some serious misgivings about the NATO air operation in Kosovo,
most Members of Congress strongly supported providing full funding for Department
of Defense expenditures in the Balkans, out of concern for perceived budgetary
shortfalls in the U.S. military. Thus, even Members who vehemently opposed
Operation Allied Force voted to substantially increase funds for U.S. military forces
participating in the operation. The same kind of support was not evident for meeting
the Clinton Administration’s request for emergency supplemental funds for civilian
reconstruction and regional financial stabilization efforts. On these matters, Congress
established spending limits and cut back on requested funds for regional stabilization
assistance. Several pieces of legislation sought to address burden-sharing concerns
in Congress, especially with regard to the European-led non-military reconstruction
efforts in Kosovo.
Politics played a conspicuous if inconsistent role in the Kosovo debates. At the
start of the Kosovo crisis, relations between the White House and Congress were,
arguably, at their lowest point of the Clinton Administration. Mired in impeachment
proceedings, the President struggled to rally Republicans and even some Democratic
Members around a case for armed intervention in Kosovo. While openly distrustful
of the President, the Republican leadership in Congress did not press for passage of
legislation that opposed the war or directly challenged the President’s authority to
deploy U.S. armed forces. Instead, Republican leaders opted to keep largely silent
on Kosovo, leaving responsibility for and ownership of the conflict to the President.1
Some Members referred to the Kosovo operation as “Clinton’s war.” One result of
the intentionally weak direction by the leadership was a seemingly inconsistent voting
record by Members on Kosovo-related legislation. In some cases, the final outcome
of votes hinged upon last-minute interventions by individual party leaders or by
President Clinton and other officials.
Positions on Kosovo did not fall cleanly along party lines, however. As with the
case of Bosnia some years earlier, many Democratic Members of Congress supported
a relatively hawkish stance against the aggressive actions of Slobodan Milosevic. In
contrast, many Republicans claimed that no vital U.S. interests were at stake in
Kosovo and were wary of additional commitments and burdens on the U.S. military.
The positions of other Members of Congress remained even less predictable. Some
Democrats, such as Senator Byrd, strongly asserted legislative prerogatives in matters
relating to U.S. military deployments. Some Republicans, among them Senator
McCain, pressed for consideration of deeper military engagement, including
deployment of U.S. combat forces, against Milosevic. Republican Representative
Campbell, an opponent of U.S. participation in the NATO air war, defied the wishes
of his party’s leadership by introducing resolutions on Kosovo that invoked the War
The Kosovo debates revealed a lack of consensus more generally on the use of
force in international conflicts and the appropriate U.S. role in such affairs. The
Kosovo conflict touched upon several controversial subjects, including the
international legal basis for military intervention, the role and mission of NATO, and
the conduct of a limited war reliant on air power. In the run-up to the 2000
presidential elections, U.S. participation in Balkan peacekeeping became a prominent
campaign issue, with Republican candidate George W. Bush and his advisors
indicating that a Bush Administration would move to withdraw U.S. armed forces
from the Balkan operations. Democratic candidate Al Gore, in contrast, denounced
this proposal as “risky.”
The issue of presidential versus congressional responsibility for war powers also
reared its head during the 106th Congress. Some Members of Congress were far more
willing than others to challenge the President’s authority to deploy U.S. armed forces
in overseas operations without congressional endorsement. Legislative proposals
seeking to enhance congressional controls did not solely target the Clinton presidency,
since some proposals (considered late in the 106th Congress) would have imposed
deployment deadlines on Clinton’s successor in the White House.
1“Hill GOP Leaders Take Cautious Course on Kosovo,” Washington Post, April 28, 1999.
The Kosovo debates also demonstrated a variety of means of influence available
to the Congress. Among the many stand-alone bills and resolutions introduced on
Kosovo, few came to the floor for consideration, and none were enacted. Instead,
many bills or new proposals on Kosovo were considered as amendments to mandatory
spending or authorizing legislation. The defense authorization and appropriations
bills, for example, were prominent vehicles for Kosovo-related legislation. In addition
to legislation, Members expressed their positions in formal hearings and in informal
consultations with the Clinton Administration, although several complained that the
consultation process was lacking. Many Members also traveled to the Balkans region
before, during, and after the conflict.
Some observers contend that Members of Congress can informally influence the
decision-making process by conveying likely trends of support or dissent in the
Congress. For example, the perception that Congress would revolt against the
introduction of U.S. ground combat troops in Serbia may have influenced the White
House’s decision to state initially that no ground forces would become involved in
Operation Allied Force. Congressional focus on burden-sharing in the reconstruction
process and the threat to pull out U.S. armed forces unless Europe fulfilled
commitments may have increased pressure on the European Union to implement its
programs more quickly.
This report first reviews key developments in Kosovo and U.S. policy during
1999 and 2000. It then examines the congressional responses to the Kosovo peace
talks at Rambouillet, the NATO air war against Yugoslavia, the aftermath and lessons
learned from the conflict, and the subsequent efforts by the United States and other
countries to reconstruct and stabilize Kosovo. A concluding section looks at potential
trends that may become important in the 107th Congress. Appendices provide a
survey of key legislative provisions on Kosovo.
Developments in Kosovo and U.S. Policy, 1999-
At the start of the 106th Congress in January 1999, the situation in Kosovo had
reached a crisis stage. Tensions between the mostly Albanian population (led by the
insurgent Kosovo Liberation Army-KLA) in the southern Serbian province and the
Serbian security forces had exploded into violence in early 1998.2 Over the next
months, the U.N. Security Council and the international Contact Group3 repeatedly
demanded that both parties to the conflict cease hostilities and resume dialogue on a
political settlement. In October 1998, NATO threatened Belgrade with air strikes if
it did not comply with U.N. demands, including the withdrawal of most of its forces
from Kosovo. Air strikes were avoided by a last-minute deal with Federal Republic
of Yugoslavia (FRY) President Milosevic on complying with U.N. demands and
allowing an unarmed monitoring mission into Kosovo. Meanwhile, U.S. diplomats led
2For more information on Kosovo, see CRS Issue Brief IB98041, Kosovo and U.S. Policy,
by Steve Woehrel and Julie Kim (updated regularly).
3The Contact Group comprises the United States, Russia, Britain, France, Germany, and Italy.
“shuttle diplomacy” talks between the Serb and Albanian parties on autonomy
arrangements for Kosovo. The October cease-fire agreement broke down, however,
by the end of the year. The killing of about 45 ethnic Albanians in the village of
Racak on January 15, 1999, prompted several emergency international meetings
among Contact Group members to address the Kosovo situation.
International leaders called for convening direct negotiations with the parties to
the conflict and increasing preparations for possible NATO air strikes. Peace
negotiations sponsored by the Contact Group opened in Rambouillet, France, on
February 6, 1999. As talks at Rambouillet focused on autonomy arrangements in
Kosovo, President Clinton pledged to contribute up to 4,000 U.S. troops to an
envisaged NATO-led peacekeeping force in Kosovo, should the parties reach a strong
peace agreement.4 U.S. participation in the security force was seen to be essential for
securing Kosovar Albanian agreement to the Rambouillet draft peace plan. After
several deadlines had passed, the Kosovar Albanian delegation to Rambouillet
conditionally accepted the draft peace plan of the Contact Group; it formally accepted
the accords in Paris on March 15. The Serb delegation maintained several objections
to the accords, especially with regard to an armed international force to oversee
implementation of the peace agreement. The talks were adjourned unsuccessfully on
March 19. On a last-ditch mission to Belgrade, U.S. envoy Richard Holbrooke met
with Milosevic for a final discussion, but reported no significant change in the Serbian
On March 24, 1999, NATO launched Operation Allied Force, an air campaign
against Serb targets in Kosovo and the rest of the FRY. In a televised address,
President Clinton said that NATO’s objectives were to demonstrate NATO’s resolve,
deter President Milosevic from continuing his attacks on Kosovo’s civilians, and
damage Serbia’s capacity to wage war. Placing confidence in the air strike option,
President Clinton stated that he “did not intend to put our troops in Kosovo to fight
a war.” U.S. objectives and interests at stake in the Kosovo crisis, as cited by the
Clinton Administration, were to avert a humanitarian catastrophe, preserve stability5
in a key part of Europe, and maintain the credibility of NATO.
The U.N. Security Council, which had not explicitly authorized the air operation,
considered but failed to pass a Russian-sponsored resolution to demand an end to the
NATO operation by a vote of 3 in favor, 12 against. In Kosovo, Milosevic accelerated
his ethnic cleansing campaign, driving hundreds of thousands of Kosovar Albanians
into neighboring Albania, Macedonia, and Montenegro, and greatly destabilizing the
southern Balkan region. After the first few days of limited strikes, NATO expanded
its target list to include downtown Belgrade and other Serbian cities. In April, NATO
formulated five core demands for Milosevic to meet before air strikes would cease.
He must: stop all military action in Kosovo; withdraw his forces from Kosovo; agree
to the stationing in Kosovo of an international military presence, agree to the return
4The estimate on the U.S. share of troops in the NATO force was later revised to 5,000-7,000,
corresponding to an increase in the estimated total size of the force.
5“U.S. and NATO Objectives and Interests in Kosovo,” U.S. Department of State Fact Sheet,
March 26, 1999.
of all refugees; and agree to work on a political framework agreement for Kosovo on
the basis of the Rambouillet accords.
The United States and its NATO allies carried out Operation Allied Force for
a total of 78 days. Allied unity was upheld, although some differences among the
nineteen alliance members emerged during the course of the campaign. Some allies,
led by Britain, pressed for NATO to begin immediate preparations for a ground
invasion of the FRY. U.S. officials demurred, although some Members of Congress
supported the call for invasion preparations. President Clinton pledged to Congress
that he would ask for congressional support before agreeing to commit U.S. armed
forces to Kosovo in a non-permissive environment. Other European countries, such
as Greece, supported a pause in the air campaign to allow Milosevic to comply with
NATO’s terms. The April 1999 summit commemorating NATO’s 50th anniversary,
held in Washington, D.C., emphasized allied unity and resolve in Operation Allied
Force. As the air campaign wore on, however, some Members of Congress as well
as observers around the world questioned NATO’s strategy, especially after the
accidental bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade and with the rising civilian
casualty toll of the bombing. In May, the International Criminal Tribunal for the
Former Yugoslavia publicly indicted Milosevic and other top Serbian leaders for war
Finally on June 3, President Milosevic agreed to a peace plan brought to
Belgrade by EU representative and Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari and Russian
Balkans envoy Viktor Chernomyrdin. The plan was based on NATO demands and a
proposal from the Group of Eight countries (the Contact Group plus Canada and
Japan). Several foundational agreements ensued. On June 9, NATO and the
Yugoslav Armed Forces concluded a Military Technical Agreement outlining terms
of a complete Yugoslav military withdrawal from Kosovo. Claiming victory, NATO
leaders ended the air strike operation on June 10. On the same day, the U.N. Security
Council approved UNSC Resolution 1244, which incorporated the Ahtisaari-
Chernomyrdin plan and the G-8 principles. On June 20, the KLA and NATO signed
a document on the demilitarization of the KLA.
In the aftermath of the Kosovo war, President Clinton briefly espoused a new
principle for military intervention in global conflicts. Addressing U.S. troops
stationed in Macedonia in June 1999, Clinton stated that, if “it is within our power to
stop it, we will stop” the killing of innocent civilians being targeted because of their
race, ethnic background, or religion. Later, the so-called “Clinton doctrine” appeared
to be tempered by statements by Clinton Administration officials and by the limited
U.S. response to violence in East Timor. Moreover, the spate of violent revenge
attacks by returning Kosovar Albanians on the Serb population appeared to diminish
somewhat the sense of triumph about the western intervention.
NATO’s peacekeeping force in Kosovo, dubbed KFOR, has been charged with
the task of establishing a secure environment throughout the province. Its strength
in mid-2000 was around 45,000 troops, including about 6,700 U.S. troops. U.N.
Resolution 1244 established a U.N.-run transitional administration in Kosovo, the
U.N. Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), to oversee the process of building peace,
democracy, and self-government in Kosovo. UNMIK holds executive authority on
a provisional basis until new elections for interim autonomous institutions are held.
UNMIK is headed by former French Minister Bernard Kouchner, the Special
Representative of the U.N. Secretary-General. Within a remarkably short time after
the Serb withdrawal, over 800,000 Kosovar Albanian refugees returned to the
province from abroad. On the other hand, most Serbs from Kosovo have left the
province. Remaining Serb communities have continued to be the target of attacks
throughout the province, leading many observers to question the prospects for
peaceful co-existence among Kosovo’s ethnic groups.
Two international donors’ conferences have been held, the first in July 1999 for
immediate humanitarian needs and the second in November 1999 for longer-term
reconstruction projects. At the donors’ conferences, the United States pledged over
$220 million in reconstruction funds and $270 million in humanitarian assistance. The
European Union and the United States are also leading an international initiative, the
Stability Pact for southeast Europe, to promote cooperation and development in all
of southeastern Europe. The FRY had been excluded from the Stability Pact until late
Kosovo’s first post-war elections held at the municipal level on October 28,
While most of the province’s ethnic Albanian population registered for the vote, very
few (about 1,000) of the Serb population had. Elections to Kosovo-wide positions
will be held sometime in 2001. Kosovo’s final status, meanwhile, has yet to be
addressed by the United Nations. All of Kosovo’s ethnic Albanian political parties
support independence for Kosovo. The Clinton Administration has maintained
throughout the Kosovo conflict that it supports autonomy, not independence, for
Kosovo.6 In Serbia, meanwhile, Slobodan Milosevic was defeated in Yugoslav
presidential elections in September 2000 and stepped down in early October in the
face of mass demonstrations. The ascendance to power of democratic opposition
leader Vojislav Kostunica appeared to usher in a dramatically different environment
in Serbia, with possibly far-reaching consequences.
Rambouillet and the Prospect of U.S. Participation in
After the start of the Kosovo conflict in early 1998, and especially after the
January 1999 Racak massacre, most Members of Congress, consistent with prevailing
international opinion, lay most of the blame for the conflict on FRY President
Slobodan Milosevic. Some Members expressed sympathy with the plight of the
Kosovo Albanian population and introduced resolutions recommending recognition
6Kosovo enjoyed autonomous status within the former Yugoslavia until Milosevic ushered in
constitutional changes to remove this status and eliminate Kosovo’s governmental structures
in 1989 and 1990.
of the Kosovo Albanians’ right to self-determination.7 Some pressed for NATO to
follow through on its earlier threats of air strikes in order to compel Milosevic to
comply with U.N. demands.
With the commencement of the peace talks at Rambouillet in February 1999,
Members of Congress focused on the possibility of sending U.S. armed forces to
Kosovo as part of an international peacekeeping presence in Kosovo. President
Clinton pledged in principle to contribute U.S. troops to such a military presence;
specifics on the mission, command arrangements, costs, composition, and other
aspects were to await the successful conclusion of a peace agreement. The NATO-
led Stabilization Force (SFOR) implementing the Dayton accords in Bosnia was seen
to be a model example for a future Kosovo force – commanded by NATO and with
substantial troop contributions from other NATO and Partnership for Peace
countries.8 Clinton Administration officials indicated that the U.S. share of
peacekeeping troops in Kosovo would be smaller than in Bosnia. Unlike Bosnia, the
Kosovo Force was to be under European, rather than U.S., command.
In several hearings and consultations with Members of Congress, Clinton
Administration officials presented reasons for the United States to be engaged in
Kosovo peacekeeping once a peace agreement was reached. They argued that the
United States had a strong interest in ensuring regional stability and reducing
possibility of conflict spillover. They said it had an interest in preventing a
humanitarian disaster in Kosovo and suffering throughout the region. Upholding
NATO’s credibility as the most effective military organization in Europe was another
key interest cited.9 Preliminary estimates foresaw a force of about 28,000 troops, of
which the United States would contribute up to 4,000 at an estimated cost of $1.5
billion to $2 billion per year.
For their part, Members of Congress appeared divided in their opinions of the
prospect of U.S. participation in peacekeeping in Kosovo. In view of the likelihood
of imminent intensified conflict in Kosovo if the situation there was not stabilized,10
some expressed the view that U.S. armed forces should participate in a post-
settlement peacekeeping force. Many supporters felt, however, that Europe had
stronger interests at stake and therefore should take the leading role in manning such
a force, with the United States contributing a smaller share. Others viewed the
Kosovo peacekeeping option more negatively. They expressed wariness over
supporting the KLA, the leading resistance force in Kosovo but also a group seen by
7See H.Con.Res. 9 and H.Con.Res. 32. See also, “Independence for Kosovo,” Washington
Post op-ed by Senator Mitch McConnell, January 22, 1999.
8For more information on the role of Congress with regard to SFOR in Bosnia, see Bosnia
Implementation Force (IFOR) and Stabilization Force (SFOR): activities of the 104th
Congress, by Julie Kim. CRS Report 96-723, January 6, 1997.
9“The U.S. Role in Kosovo.” Hearing before the Committee on International Relations. U.S.
House of Representatives. February 10, 1999. “Hearing on Kosovo.” Hearing before the
Committee on Foreign Relations. U.S. Senate. February 24, 1999.
10For example, see testimony of George Tenet, Central Intelligence Agency Director, Senate
Armed Services Committee hearing, February 2, 1999.
many as a “shady organization” charged by the Clinton Administration with having
committed terrorist activities. They pointed out that Kosovo, unlike Bosnia, was not
a sovereign country and that U.S. and NATO troops would be deployed on the
territory of the FRY for the first time. They argued that Kosovo failed to present a
compelling U.S. interest, an achievable military objective, or a clear exit strategy.
They also expressed concerns about the impact such a deployment would have on
U.S. military readiness.11
Above all, several Members of Congress demanded that the Clinton
Administration provide detailed information and consult with Congress in a timely
fashion about the potential U.S. peacekeeping engagement. Many went further and
asserted that Congress had a constitutional responsibility to exercise a stronger role
in matters regarding the overseas deployment of U.S. armed forces. In early March,
House and Senate leaders hastened to bring up Kosovo legislation for floor
consideration. Expressing concern about the practice of “the Administration (taking)
action without congressional action or approval,” Senate Majority Leader Lott said
it was important to have a debate in Congress on the matter before U.S. troops were
actually deployed.12 Several Republican leaders expressed frustration that the Clinton
Administration appeared to want to circumvent Congress on such policy decisions,
as they argued it did with Bosnia, and expected Congress later to approve
supplemental funding for the operation.
The Clinton Administration argued that, under the Constitution, it did not require
congressional authorization to commit U.S. troops to a Kosovo peacekeeping force,
although it said it would welcome expressions of congressional support for U.S.
troops engaged in the deployment. Clinton Administration officials criticized the
timing of the congressional debates as premature and potentially disruptive to the
ongoing peace proceedings at Rambouillet.
In early March, Rep. Gilman introduced H.Con.Res. 42, a bill to authorize the
deployment of U.S. military personnel to Kosovo as part of a NATO peacekeeping
operation. Neither criticizing nor opposing the deployment, the resolution as
introduced was intended to allow the House to participate in the decision to deploy
U.S. armed forces to Kosovo. House Speaker Hastert took up the Gilman resolution,
though he declined to provide a leadership position on it. In opposing the rule
permitting floor consideration, Rep. Gephardt stated that the timing of it was wrong
and irresponsible, given that the peace talks were still ongoing. Over 50 amendments
to the resolution were filed, including one (offered by Rep. Fowler) to prohibit U.S.
ground troops from deploying to Kosovo.13 Supporters of the Fowler amendment
said that Kosovo was a humanitarian crisis that did not warrant a U.S. troop
deployment. After extensive and divisive debate, the House passed a final amended
version of the resolution that conditioned authorization of the deployment on the
requirement that U.S. armed forces comprise no more than 15% of the total force,
11For example, see “Autonomy for Kosovo Isn’t Worth American Blood,” Wall Street Journal
op-ed by Rep. Tom DeLay, March 9, 1999.
12AP, March 9, 1999.
13The Fowler amendment was defeated, 178 to 237.
and called for the President to submit detailed reports on the deployment. While the
March 11 vote, 219 in favor to 191 against, did not run counter to Clinton
Administration policy on Kosovo, neither was it seen to be a ringing endorsement.
Most of the “no” votes were cast by Republican Members.
In the Senate, Republican leaders agreed to consider an amendment on Kosovo
with debate on an emergency spending bill unrelated to Kosovo (S. 544). The
Kosovo amendment, sponsored by Senator Hutchison, sought to bar defense funds
for the deployment of U.S. ground forces to the FRY unless several conditions were
met, including the conclusion of a peace agreement and the submission of a
Presidential report on aspects of the deployment. The amendment would have also
required the President to submit bi-monthly reports on the benchmarks that were to
be established to measure progress and determine the ultimate withdrawal of U.S.
armed forces from Kosovo.
While the Senate was considering this amendment, however, the situation with
regard to Kosovo changed from one focused on reaching an agreed settlement and
considering a peacekeeping force to one of imminent war against the holdout party,
Serbia. In briefings with House and Senate Members on March 18 and 19, President
Clinton and other Administration members made clear that the United States was
prepared to lead NATO forces in military actions against the FRY. Subsequent
legislation and debate turned its focus to that prospect.
Operation Allied Force and the Role of Congress
On March 18, the Kosovo Albanian delegation to the Rambouillet talks signed
the draft peace plan in Paris. With the Yugoslav delegation offering no sign of
agreement, NATO countries made final preparations for air attacks against the FRY.
Before the Congress, U.S. armed services chiefs gave testimony on the likely risks
involved in such an operation. They anticipated that the majority of aircraft would
come from the United States. The turn of events appeared to catch many in Congress
by surprise and left little time to consider legislative responses. President Clinton and
Administration officials held several meetings and briefings with Members of
Congress just prior to and after the start of Operation Allied Force.
On March 19, Senate Majority Leader Lott introduced an amendment to reflect
evolving circumstances, amending an existing amendment of a supplemental spending
bill (the Hutchison amendment, see previous section). Lott and other supporters of
the amendment argued that Congress should be involved and take a stand on military
action by the United States. The Lott amendment sought to bar Department of
Defense funds for the purpose of conducting any military operations in the FRY (with
the exception of intelligence and logistics support operations), unless Congress first
authorized U.S. participation in such an operation. The amendment specified that
“United States national security interests in Kosovo do not rise to a level that
warrants military operations by the United States.” On March 23, after several
Members met with President Clinton, the Senate voted, 55 to 44, not to invoke
cloture on the Lott amendment, eliminating the prospect for an up-or-down vote on
the amendment. The Hutchison amendment, and therefore also Senator Lott’s second-
degree amendment, was ultimately withdrawn the same day.
Instead the House and Senate considered new resolutions on the pending NATO
operation. In a March 23 letter to the Senate leadership, President Clinton asked for
“legislative support as we address the crisis in Kosovo,” “without regard to our14
differing views on the Constitution about the use of force.” S. Con. Res. 21
(sponsored by Senators Biden, Warner, Levin, Byrd, and McConnell), stated that “the
President is authorized to conduct military air operations and missile strikes in
cooperation with our NATO allies against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.”
Opponents cited many objections to the policy, among them: trying to coerce the
FRY into a peace agreement; becoming directly involved in a civil war; expanding
NATO’s mission beyond the collective defense of the allies; and, leaving unspecified
what might follow air strikes. Opponents questioned why the United States should
become involved in the Kosovo conflict when it did not respond to humanitarian
crises elsewhere in the world. Fearing descent by the U.S. armed forces into a
military quagmire, Senator Stevens sought to add language to S. Con. Res. 21 barring
funds for ground forces in a non-peacekeeping role, but later dropped the provision.15
Proponents of the resolution said it was appropriate for NATO to act in response to
the security threat and humanitarian crisis resulting from Milosevic’s actions in
Kosovo. They cited the lack of alternative options and the need to maintain U.S. and
NATO credibility. The Senate approved S. Con. Res. 21 on March 23 by a vote of
58 in favor, 41 against. Nearly all of the votes against the resolution were from
NATO’s Operation Allied Force commenced the following day. Instead of
addressing the air campaign directly, the House took up a resolution, H. Res. 130,
with a different focus. By a vote of 424 to 1, the House resolved that it supported
members of the U.S. armed forces who were engaged in military operations against
the FRY. Now that the operation was underway, Members stressed the importance
of putting aside differences about policy and uniting behind U.S. military personnel
carrying out the policy. Members spoke both for and against the mission, but all
expressed support for U.S. armed forces. The Senate followed by passing S. Res. 74,
an identical resolution praising members of the U.S. armed forces, by unanimous
Contrary to some expectations, Milosevic showed no signs of capitulating after
a few days of air strikes, and even accelerated the drive to expel hundreds of
thousands of Kosovo Albanians, creating a refugee crisis in neighboring countries.
After a congressional recess, during which time several Members visited the region,
Congress revisited the question of its role in the military campaign in Yugoslavia.
Individual Members made numerous statements for and against the NATO operation
and other options, and some introduced legislation on the subject. The congressional
leadership, however, remained reluctant to push forward any major Kosovo legislation
while the operation continued and the President urged continued resolve. Some
observers saw this “hands off” approach to be deliberate, with some Members
14Congressional Record, S3101, March 23, 1999.
15“Members Rally Around Kosovo Mission Despite Misgivings About Strategy,”
Congressional Quarterly Weekly Report, March 27, 1999, p. 763-764.
referring to the operation as “Clinton’s war.”16 Several committees convened hearings
on Kosovo. In late April-May, however, Congress was compelled to consider
legislation under the War Powers Resolution and the President’s request for
emergency funding to pay for the military operation.
Rep. Tom Campbell, who opposed the bombing operation, initiated the move to
consider legislation that invoked the controversial War Powers Resolution, thus
expediting floor consideration. The War Powers Resolution was passed over a
presidential veto in 1973 with the intent to increase congressional authority on the use
of U.S. armed forces abroad.17 In defiance of party leadership, Rep. Campbell
challenged other Members of Congress to make explicit their positions on the Kosovo
campaign and carry out their constitutional responsibility on matters relating to war.
On April 12, he introduced two resolutions. H.J.Res. 151 declared that a state of war
existed between the United States and Yugoslavia. H.Con.Res. 82 directed the
President to remove U.S. armed forces from operations against Yugoslavia within
thirty days of passage of the resolution. Rep. Campbell and other House Members
later filed suit in Federal District Court on whether the President was required to
obtain congressional authorization before continuing the war against Yugoslavia.18
On April 27, the House International Relations Committee reported out both
resolutions unfavorably. Neither resolution appeared likely to pass, as Members
expressed little interest in declaring war or forcing a pull-out of U.S. armed forces.
As put by House Majority Leader Armey, “the choices are too stark.”19 Two other
bills were put forward for simultaneous consideration. H.R. 1569, sponsored by Rep.
Fowler, set a ban on defense funds for the deployment of U.S. ground troops in
Yugoslavia unless specifically authorized by Congress. The House was also to
consider S. Con. Res. 21, the Senate-passed bill authorizing military air operations
The House votes on April 28 produced a muddled message on Kosovo policy.
H.R. 1569 on restricting the use of U.S. ground troops in Kosovo passed by a vote
of 249 in favor to 180 against. H. Con. Res. 82, directing the President to remove
U.S. armed forces from military operations in Yugoslavia, failed by a vote of 139 in
favor, 290 against. H.J.Res. 44, declaring war on Yugoslavia, failed, 2 to 427.
Finally, S.Con.Res. 21, authorizing air strikes, failed passage in a tie vote, 213 to 213.
The last vote prompted mutual recriminations from the two parties. House Minority
Leader Gephardt called the House’s inability to support the air operation a “low
moment in American foreign policy” and blamed efforts by Republican Party Majority
16“Congress Set to Provide Money, But No Guidance, for Kosovo Mission,” Congressional
Quarterly Weekly Report, May 1, 1999, p. 1036-1040.
17For more information on the War Powers Resolution, see War Powers Resolution:
Presidential Compliance, by Richard F. Grimmett. CRS Issue Brief IB81050, updated
18See CRS Issue Brief IB81050 for status of the Campbell suit; see also Declaration of War
Against Yugoslavia: Implications for the United States, by David A. Ackerman and Richard
F. Grimmett. CRS Report RL30146, April 30, 1999.
19Knight-Ridder Information Services, April 28, 1999.
Whip DeLay to defeat the authorizing measure. Republican leaders countered that
the Democrats had not worked hard enough to gain support for their resolution.20
In the Senate, Majority Leader Lott initially moved to introduce a resolution
similar to H.R. 1569, just passed by the House, to require congressional approval
prior to the introduction of ground troops to Kosovo, but dropped the measure as the
Senate instead took up a different proposal on the ground force option (see section
on “Preparing for a Ground Invasion,” below). Other Members in both chambers
made additional efforts to block funding for military operations in Yugoslavia unless
specifically authorized by Congress, but failed to see their passage. President Clinton
threatened to veto any bill that included such restrictions.21
In spite of serious misgivings on the part of some Members of Congress about
Operation Allied Force, congressional leaders pledged to provide all the funding
support needed by the U.S. military participating in the NATO operation. On April
19, President Clinton sent to Congress an emergency supplemental funding request
for about $6 billion in Fiscal Year 1999 to cover unanticipated costs of the Kosovo
operation and its impact on military readiness. $5.1 billion of the request was for the
Kosovo air campaign, munitions replenishment, and readiness funding. About
$900,000 was for refugee and humanitarian assistance. Members of the House
immediately announced their intention to add billions to the request to redress
perceived defense spending shortfalls not directly related to Kosovo.
The House version of the emergency spending bill, H.R. 1664, included nearly
$13 billion in supplemental funding for defense, including military construction, a
military pay increase, and munitions. About $5 billion of the total was to cover
Balkan operations. The House rejected (by a vote of 117 ayes to 301 noes) an
amendment sponsored by Rep. Istook that sought to bar funds for any plan to invade
Yugoslavia with U.S. armed forces, except in time of war. Rep. Istook noted that the
amendment was identical, with the exception of the country in question, to one filed
in 1967 during the Vietnam War. Several House Members who voted in favor of a
similar bill one week earlier (H.R. 1569) and who agreed with the intent of the Istook
amendment, opposed its inclusion in the supplemental bill, fearing it might delay or
threaten passage of the spending bill. H.R. 1664 was later incorporated into H.R.
farmers. Numerous add-ons to the bill (unrelated to Kosovo) and veto threats from
the Clinton Administration threatened final passage of the supplemental funding bill,
but all issues were resolved in mid-May. The final version met the President’s request
for $5.5 billion for NATO’s air campaign, and provided $1 billion in humanitarian
assistance and about $5 billion more in other military spending.
20“GOP’s Abiding Distrust of Clinton Doesn’t Stop at Water’s Edge,” Congressional
Quarterly Weekly Report, May 1, 1999, p. 1038-1039. Speaker Hastert, who voted in favor
of S.Con.Res. 21, later expressed regret that he did not promote its passage on the House
floor. “Hastert Regrets Not Leading Push for Airstrikes Resolution,” Washington Post, May
21See House and Senate amendments to H.R. 1401 and S. 1059, the Department of Defense
authorization bills for FY 2000.
Ongoing Operation and Alternative Strategies
While most attention remained focused on operational aspects of Allied Force
at the start of the campaign, some Members of Congress proposed some alternative
strategies to the Kosovo crisis as well. As it became clear that the NATO air
campaign was going to last well beyond most initial estimates, some Members also
began to call for preparations for additional measures, including the introduction of
ground troops. The Republican leadership in both houses, however, provided little
guidance on party positions; indeed, both parties revealed a wide range of opinions
on these issues.
Arming the Kosovars. As early as at the start of Operation Allied Force,
Senator McConnell and Senator Lieberman announced their intention to introduce the
“Kosovo Self-Defense Act (S. 846),” a bill to provide up to $25 million to arm and
equip the Kosovo Albanian forces for their self-defense. In the House, Rep. Engel
introduced a complementary bill on Kosovo’s self-defense (H.R. 1408). The bill
sponsors said that their intention was to provide a follow-on strategy to the Kosovo
crisis if the bombing campaign alone did not achieve peace. They argued that the
United States had a moral obligation to enable the Kosovo population to defend
themselves, especially if NATO had no intention of introducing ground troops into
Kosovo in a non-permissive environment. Assisting the Kosovars to provide for their
own defense against Milosevic’s forces, they argued, would provide the United States
with an exit strategy in the absence of a peace agreement. They hearkened to earlier,
extensive and divisive debates in the Congress over arming and training the Bosnian
government during the Bosnian war in the early 1990s.
Others, including the Clinton Administration, viewed this initiative as
inappropriate in the midst of a major military operation and likely to fuel an arms race.
They said this policy would violate the U.N. arms embargo and run counter to the
goal of achieving the demilitarization of both parties to the conflict. Arming the
Kosovars might also imply support for Kosovo’s independence, which the Clinton
Administration opposed. Some argued that such a move would constitute an
invitation for Russia, theoretically a partner in international efforts to end the Kosovo
conflict, to provide arms to Serbia.
While neither chamber brought the Kosovo self-defense bills to the floor for
consideration, the Senate voted to include some funds for a similar purpose in the FY
2000 appropriations bill for foreign operations. The Senate bill (S. 1234) earmarked
$20 million in Support for East European Democracy (SEED) Act funds for “training
and equipping a Kosovo security force.” The Clinton Administration opposed this
provision since it could be interpreted as military aid designated for the Kosovo22
Liberation Army. The earmark was later dropped in conference.
Preparing for a ground invasion. President Clinton’s explicit exclusion
of a ground force option at the start of the NATO operation came under criticism in
Congress. Some Members emphasized the need for victory above all other
22 Statement of Administration Policy: S. 1234, Office of Management and Budget, June 30,
considerations and urged planning for a possible ground force invasion of Kosovo.
Senator McCain emphasized that “we are in it; now we must win it.”23 He warned of
negative consequences around the globe if NATO were to fail in Yugoslavia. He
stated that the ground force option should be held open as a credible threat. Senator
Lugar called for the immediate, conspicuous planning for the use of NATO ground
troops to demonstrate to Milosevic NATO’s resolve.24 In response, Clinton
Administration officials continued to insist that air strikes (albeit intensified) would
eventually succeed in altering Milosevic’s behavior. They repeated arguments against
a ground force invasion and estimated that an invasion operation would have to
involve hundreds of thousands of troops under very dangerous circumstances. They
also indicated that there was no consensus within NATO to embark on such plans,
and that any move to consider this option would threaten allied cohesion.
On April 20, 1999, Senator McCain and Senator Biden introduced S.J.Res. 20,
a resolution to authorize the President to use “all necessary force” to meet NATO’s
goals in Kosovo. The phrase “all necessary force” was intended to mean a possible
ground invasion of Yugoslavia. Sponsors of the bill inadvertently triggered deadlines
under the War Powers Resolution that required expedited procedures through the
legislative process. On April 30, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee reported
out S.J.Res. 20 without a recommendation. However, the bipartisan Senate
leadership agreed to move to “table,” or set aside, the bill rather than put it to a direct,
up-or-down vote. The leadership apparently wanted neither to endorse an escalated
war nor to reveal to Milosevic a lack of resolve. Other Senators expressed concerns
that the resolution’s authorization was too broad and that the timing of it was
premature. President Clinton, meanwhile, told congressional leaders that he had no
plans to introduce U.S. ground forces into the conflict and would in any case ask for
congressional support before such an event.25 Senator McCain sharply criticized the
Senate leadership as well as the Clinton Administration for not seeking an open debate
and vote on the issue. He urged Senators at least to declare, during floor debate,
unequivocally their support or opposition for the war. He said, “Shame on the
President if he persists in abdicating his responsibilities. But shame on us if we let26
him.” The Senate voted, 78 to 22, to table S.J.Res. 20 on May 3, 1999.
In another attempt to exercise some control over the possible introduction of
combat ground troops into Kosovo, Senator Specter introduced an amendment to the
FY 2000 defense authorization bill (S. 1059) that sought to bar funds for the
23 “As Kosovo Crisis Escalates, Calls Increase to Reconsider Use of Ground Troops,”
Congressional Quarterly Weekly Report, April 3, 1999, p. 809-811.
24Ibid. Other Senators cited in this article as supportive of ground force preparations were
Senators Gordon Smith, Hagel, and Biden. Several other Members in both chambers later
made statements urging the President to leave all military options open, including the use of
U.S. ground troops.
25“Congress Set to Provide Money, But No Guidance, for Kosovo Mission,” Congressional
Quarterly Weekly Report, May 1, 1999, p. 1036-1040; Congressional Record, May 3, 1999,
26Congressional Record, May 3, 1999, S4514; “Senate Shelves McCain Proposal on Kosovo,”
Washington Post, May 5, 1999..
deployment of U.S. ground troops in Kosovo, except for peacekeeping personnel,
unless Congress issued a declaration of war or passed a joint resolution authorizing
the use of military force. The Senate voted to table the Specter amendment on May
this one by Senator Robert Smith, to block funds for either combat or peacekeeping
military operations in Kosovo.
An effort in the House to forge a bipartisan approach on an “all necessary force”
resolution was reportedly rejected by the House leadership.27 However, had
Milosevic not agreed to NATO demands in early June, and had the Clinton
Administration changed its policy on this issue, discussion in Congress of a possible
ground force invasion of Yugoslavia would most likely have been revived.
Removing Milosevic from power. At the start of Operation Allied Force,
Senator Helms introduced legislation that targeted Slobodan Milosevic’s rule in the
FRY. He argued that the only way to stop Milosevic’s “reign of terror” in the
Balkans was to address the underlying cause of the Balkans wars: Slobodan
Milosevic’s continued rule. Senator Helms argued that “our objective must change
from appeasing Milosevic to sponsoring democratic change in Serbia and Milosevic’s
removal from power.”28 On May 24, 1999, the International Criminal Tribunal for the
former Yugoslavia indicted Milosevic and other top Serbian political and military
leaders for war crimes committed in Kosovo.
The Clinton Administration supported this measure and other like endeavors.
At the Sarajevo summit meeting that launched the Stability Pact for southeast Europe
on July 30, 1999, President Clinton said he would provide $10 million to promote
democracy in Serbia, maintain sanctions against the Milosevic regime, and support the
democratically-elected government in Montenegro. After Milosevic’s withdrawal
from Kosovo, some observers predicted that Milosevic would soon fall from power
or be defeated at the polls.
Co-sponsored by Senators Helms, Lugar, Gordon Smith, Lieberman, and
Lautenberg, among others, the Serbia Democratization Act (S. 720) aimed to
promote the democratic development of Yugoslavia. It included an authorization of
$100 million to implement programs to assist the democratic opposition, non-
governmental organizations, and the independent media. It also codified sanctions
against Yugoslavia, as well as exemptions to the sanctions. Backed by the Clinton
Administration, the Senate passed S. 720 on November 4, 1999.
In its version of the FY 2000 appropriations bill for foreign operations, export
financing, and related programs (S. 1234), the Senate approved on June 30 an
amendment offered by Senator Helms that provided $100 million in assistance to
promote democracy in Serbia. This amendment was later dropped in conference
committee. In 2000, a version of the Serbia Democratization Act reappeared as Title
27“Hill GOP Leaders Take Cautious Course on Kosovo,” Washington Post, April 28, 1999.
28“Our Exit Strategy,” Washington Post op-ed by Senator Jesse Helms, March 25, 1999.
V of S. 2382, a foreign aid authorization bill. Title V authorized $50 million in
assistance to democratic programs in Serbia and Montenegro.29
On September 25, 2000, the House passed H.R. 1064, its version of the Serbian
Democratization Act, one day after Milosevic appeared to have lost elections to the
democratic opposition in Serbia. H.R. 1064 provided $50 million to Serbian
opposition groups and $55 million to Montenegro, and codified sanctions against
Serbia. The House bill’s sponsor, Rep. Christopher Smith, noted that both opponents
and supporters of the U.S. troop deployments to the region supported the bill.30
Further consideration of H.R. 1064 stalled in the Senate, although Congress
eventually agreed, in the FY2001 foreign operations appropriations measure, to
provide $100 million for assistance to Serbia, subject to certain conditions, in
response to Milosevic’s ouster.
In a related manner, legislative provisions barring reconstruction funds from
being used in Serbia or codifying sanctions against Belgrade aimed at isolating the
Milosevic regime and encouraging its eventual demise. Several such sanctions were
included in the appropriations bills for foreign operations, export financing, and
related programs for Fiscal Years 2000 and 2001. In the aftermath of Milosevic’s fall
from power in October 2000, however, the Clinton Administration moved toward
lifting sanctions. Congress and the Clinton Administration agreed to provide
assistance to Serbia bilaterally and to review Yugoslavia’s status in multilateral
Conflict Aftermath and Lessons Learned
With Milosevic’s acceptance of the international peace plan on June 3, 1999, and
the end of Operation Allied Force on June 10, the international focus on Kosovo
swiftly turned from war operations to peacekeeping. President Clinton claimed
victory and pledged to “finish the job” of helping bring peace to Kosovo, along with
other allies. The United States assumed command of one of five Kosovo Force
(KFOR) sectors. Congress remained engaged with the issue of U.S. participation in
the KFOR and the U.S. role in rebuilding Kosovo. Congress was also interested in
examining “lessons learned” from the air operation, especially for the Defense
In June 1999, while the House was considering a bill to authorize Department
of Defense spending for Fiscal Year 2000 (H.R. 1401), it rejected proposals to limit
use of defense funds for military operations in Kosovo. Rep. Skelton succeeded in
removing from the bill a controversial provision on preventing defense funds to be
used for combat or peacekeeping missions in Kosovo. The Skelton amendment
retained a provision that required the president to request supplemental funding for
peacekeeping. In a letter to Congress, President Clinton pledged to request
29For more information on this bill, see Foreign Aid Authorization: the Technical Assistance,
Trade Promotion, and Anti-Corruption Act of 2000, by Larry Nowels. CRS Report
30“Congress Backs Clinton’s Push for Yugoslav Leader to Step Down,” Congressional
Quarterly Weekly Report, September 30, 2000, p. 2288.
supplemental appropriations for the Kosovo peacekeeping deployment rather than
draw funds from other defense accounts. This pledge reportedly convinced many
Republican Members to agree to strike the restriction.31 The cost of U.S.
participation in peacekeeping in Kosovo, not included in the regular appropriations
bills, was estimated to total about $2 billion for Fiscal Year 2000. The Clinton
Administration submitted its request for supplemental Fiscal Year 2000 funds for the
KFOR operation in April 2000.
After the air campaign, Congress became interested in shaping the U.S. role in
the international reconstruction of Kosovo, particularly with regard to U.S. policy vis-
à-vis Serbia and to the U.S. share of the reconstruction burden. Several provisions
in the foreign operations appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2000 set forth prohibitions
on reconstruction aid to Serbia and barred assistance to states harboring war
criminals. Reconstruction aid for Kosovo was conditioned on the Secretary of State
certifying that the U.S. pledge at an upcoming international donors’ conference would32
not exceed 15% of the total amount pledged. The bill also barred U.S. funds from
large-scale infrastructure projects in Kosovo. The topic of the appropriate U.S. share
of international reconstruction aid would be revisited in more depth in 2000 (see
discussion on burden-sharing, next section).
Many committees convened hearings on the “lessons learned” from the Kosovo
conflict. At hearings with U.S. and NATO political and military leaders, Members
reviewed events and decisions that led to the start and conclusion of the Allied Force
operation. U.S. officials emphasized the mission’s “unqualified success;” Defense
Secretary Cohen said that “every single objective that was set out by NATO in fact
has been achieved.”33 Generally lauding the conduct of the operation, Members
questioned some aspects of strategy and command, heard initial battle damage
estimates, and discussed implications for U.S. and allied military planning and
procurement. Some Members, however, continued to question the justification for
NATO intervention and the wisdom of supporting the Kosovar Albanian side in the
As required by the Fiscal Year 2000 defense authorization and defense
appropriations laws, the Department of Defense issued its final “after-action” report
on Allied Force on January 31, 2000.34 The report proclaimed “extraordinary
success” in the operation. In 78 continuous days of operation, NATO aircraft flew
38,000 sorties and suffered no combat fatalities. The United States contributed the
majority of military assets to the operation. The report identified the Department’s
31“Republicans’ Unease with Clinton Marks House Passage of Defense Bill,” Congressional
Quarterly Weekly Report, June 12, 1999, p. 1395-1396.
32On December 3, 1999, Secretary of State Albright certified that the U.S. pledge at the
November 17, 1999 Kosovo donors’ conference amounted to 14.82% of the total pledges [FR
33Senate Armed Services Committee Hearing on Kosovo. Federal Document Clearing House
transcript. July 20, 1999.
34P.L. 106-65, Section 1211 and P.L. 106-79, Section 8125. The DoD report is available at
view on key lessons learned and actions needed to correct shortcomings and improve
Many U.S. officials touted the importance of sustained allied unity in achieving
eventual success. However, they pointed out that the operation also revealed a wide
technological gap between the United States and its allies in military capabilities.36
They indicated that addressing these disparities would become a priority for the
Clinton Administration in alliance relations.
Resources and Burden-Sharing in Post-Conflict Kosovo
The issue of equitable burden-sharing between the United States and its
European allies in European security affairs has long been of interest to the Congress.
In recent years, some Members of Congress have contended that the United States
should withdraw its military forces from Bosnia and allow the European allies to take
over that peacekeeping operation. Some Members have argued the same for Kosovo,
believing that Europe’s closer proximity to and therefore greater national interests at
stake in the Balkans should be reflected in greater responsibility for the military and
economic reconstruction burden. In particular, they have pointed to the
disproportionately large contributions made (and costs incurred) by the United States
to Operation Allied Force. The United States contributed the largest number of
aircraft, which flew the largest number of sorties, and brought to the mission the most
high-performance equipment and weaponry. Proponents of this view argue that
overseas missions such as the Balkan operations have strained military readiness and
diverted attention and resources from core U.S. national security interests.
The Clinton Administration has maintained that the United States should
continue to participate in international programs to stabilize the Balkans, but that the
European nations should lead the post-war reconstruction effort. In early 2000, U.S.
officials and Members of Congress openly began to criticize the European allies’
contributions to date in efforts to secure in the peace in Kosovo. Defense Secretary
Cohen pointed to a “clear failure” by participating nations, and especially by NATO
allies, to provide sufficient numbers of civilian police to the U.N. administration in
Kosovo. He criticized the need for KFOR soldiers to perform police activities in the37
absence of a fully-deployed civilian police force.
Some Members of Congress who had visited the Balkans region over the
legislative recess registered concerns about the poor security environment in Kosovo,
ethnic Albanian revenge attacks against the Serb population, and the slow pace of
establishing the international civil administration in the province. In hearings and in
public statements, Members sharply criticized Europe’s record to date in leading the
35 Months after the end of Allied Force, however, media reports continued to emerge that
questioned NATO’s claims of battle damage as well as levels of civilian casualties.
36See also Kosovo: Lessons Learned from Operation Allied Force, coordinated by Paul
Gallis. CRS Report RL30374, November 19, 1999, and originally prepared at the request of
37Congressional Record, February 10, 2000, S593.
civil implementation and reconstruction efforts in Kosovo. International organizations
such as the United Nations, the European Union, the Organization for Security and
Cooperation in Europe, according to Senator Warner, were “simply not doing their
job.” Moreover, he pointed out that the ability of U.S. armed forces eventually to
withdraw from Kosovo (and from Bosnia) was directly tied to the ability of these
organizations to fulfill the objectives of their mission.38
In early March, the President submitted a request to Congress for emergency
supplemental funding for FY 2000 that would provide about $2 billion for military
costs for U.S. participation in KFOR and about $600 million for reconstruction and
other economic aid to the region, including $92.8 million for Kosovo reconstruction.39
Senator Warner and Senator Levin, among others, warned that they would introduce
amendments to the supplemental funding bill to address burden-sharing issues in
Kosovo. They said they would propose restricting military funds or imposing a
withdrawal date for U.S. armed forces unless the President could give assurances on
the pace of implementation of the European allies’ commitments to civilian and
reconstruction efforts in Kosovo. Senator Byrd argued that the United States should
take steps to turn over the Kosovo operation to the European allies; since the United
States won the war, Europe should keep the peace.40
The House considered the President’s supplemental funding request in H.R.
3908. The House Committee on Appropriations recommended fully funding the
President’s request for $2 billion for Kosovo peacekeeping. It cut nearly by half the
President’s request for economic assistance for southeast Europe and Kosovo. Citing
concerns about other nations’ contributions to Kosovo peace implementation, the
committee allocated only $12.4 million of the $92.8 million requested for Kosovo,
and allocated this amount only for U.S. police officers serving in the U.N. civil police
force. It also said that the President’s request for additional resources for Kosovo
reconstruction ran counter to the Clinton Administration’s assurances that the United
States would not lead the rebuilding effort of post-conflict Kosovo.41
Rep. Kasich introduced an amendment to H.R. 3908, based on an amendment
developed by Senator Warner, that would withhold half of the funds for the Kosovo
peacekeeping deployment until the President certified that the European allies had
obligated a significant percentage of their financial or personnel pledges in Kosovo.
These included 33% pledged for reconstruction assistance, 75% for humanitarian
assistance, 75% pledged for Kosovo’s budget, and 75% of personnel pledged for the
U.N. international police force. If the President did not submit the report by June 1,
38Ibid; Senate Armed Services Committee Hearing on Kosovo, February 2, 2000 (Reuters
39For more information on the entire supplemental request and congressional response, see
Supplemental Appropriations for FY 2000: Plan Colombia, Kosovo, Foreign Debt Relief,
Home Energy Assistance, and Other Initiatives, by Larry Nowels, Stephen Daggett, Curt
Tarnoff, and Nina Serafino and Melinda Gish. CRS Report RL30457, updated July 5, 2000.
40“Europe’s Turn to Keep the Peace,” New York Times op-ed by Robert C. Byrd, March 20,
2000, the remaining 50% of funds would be available only for the purpose of
withdrawing U.S. military personnel from Kosovo. Rep. Kasich said that the
amendment was intended to make the European allies live up to their existing pledges.
Other Members agreed with the sentiment of the Kasich amendment but argued that
it was on the wrong legislative vehicle. The funds provided by the supplemental
funding bill were not for the deployment of U.S. troops or for Kosovo’s
reconstruction, they argued, but were to replace monies that have already been spent
by the Defense Department. The Kasich amendment was defeated by a vote of 200
in favor, 219 against, on March 29. The House passed H.R. 3908 the same day.
The Senate leadership chose not to consider H.R. 3908, but to attach portions
of the supplemental funding request to regular FY 2001 appropriations bills. On May
Warner amendment to the FY 2001 military construction appropriations bill (S.
2521/H.R. 4425). The amendment contained three main provisions. First, no funds
were to be available for the continued deployment of U.S. armed forces in Kosovo
after July 1, 2001, unless the President submitted a report requesting a specific
authorization for a continued deployment and Congress enacted a joint resolution
authorizing a continued deployment. The President would be able to waive (for a
maximum 180 days) the limitation on funding in emergency situations. U.S. military
personnel providing intelligence support, air surveillance, and related activities were
exempted from the restriction. Second, the President was to develop a plan on the
transition to a Kosovo force that did not include U.S. armed forces by July 2001. The
President would have to report regularly on the remaining number of U.S. troops in
Kosovo and the costs of the Kosovo operation. The third section of the amendment
said that not more than 75% of the funds provided by this bill for FY 2000 could be
used until the President certified, by July 15, 2000, that the European allies had
obligated at least 33% of the amounts they pledged for reconstruction assistance in
Kosovo, 75% of pledges for humanitarian assistance, 75% of pledges for the Kosovo
budget, and 75% of pledges of police personnel for the U.N. international police
force. If the President did not submit the report by July 15, 2000, the remaining 25%
of funds would be available only for the purpose of withdrawing U.S. military
personnel from Kosovo, unless Congress enacted a joint resolution that authorized
that amount to be used for purposes other than withdrawal. This last provision
removed the “automatic trigger” of withdrawal that was implicit in the failed Kasich
amendment in the House.
Elaborating on the Appropriations Committee’s approval, Senator Warner said
that the amendment, which had been circulating in draft form since March, had
already served as a “wake-up call” to the European allies to expedite the process of
fulfilling their commitments on rebuilding Kosovo. He acknowledged that the allies
had indeed improved the pace of obligating their contributions, but argued that the
amendment was still needed as a means for Congress to “exercise its constitutional
duty.” He said that the amendment would allow the next President (after the 2000
presidential elections) to seek and receive in mid-2001 congressional authorization to
continue the deployment of U.S. armed forces in Kosovo.42 Senator Byrd said that
the intent of the provision was not to force a pull-out of U.S. armed forces from
42Congressional Record, May 11, 2000, S3887-S3893.
Kosovo, but to restore congressional oversight and to return to Congress its
constitutional authority in such matters.
The Clinton Administration strongly opposed the Byrd-Warner amendment and
threatened to veto the entire appropriations bill if it included the amendment. It said
that the provision would damage U.S. credibility abroad, undermine NATO, and
increase uncertainty in Kosovo. While the Clinton Administration shared the concern
that the European allies should live up to their military and economic commitments,
officials argued that the deadlines in the legislation were tied to arbitrary burden-
sharing criteria. They also pointed out that European Union members were already
providing about 65% of the troops in Kosovo and over 70% of reconstruction
funding. Former NATO Supreme Allied Commander Gen. Wesley Clark argued that
adoption of the amendment would produce a negative response by the European allies
and encourage greater instability in the Balkans. Some Members of Congress,
including Senator Levin and Senator McCain, said the amendment would send the
wrong message to the allies and to the rest of the world, and signify a clear intent to
pull U.S. troops out of the Balkans.43 On the eve of the Senate vote on the bill,
Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush also came out against the Byrd-
Warner provision. A Bush campaign spokesman called it “legislative overreach on44
the powers of the presidency.” On May 18, the Senate voted to remove the Byrd-
Warner provision (through an amendment by Senator Levin) by a vote of 53 in favor,
47 against.45 Vice President and Democratic Party candidate Gore presided over the
close vote. Senator Warner stated afterward that the “George W. Bush factor”
played a significant role among Republican Members in defeating his provision.
Democrats cited the Clinton Administration’s lobbying efforts to be a factor affecting
the outcome of the vote.46
One day earlier, however, the House approved another burden-sharing
amendment put forward by Rep. Kasich, this time to the defense authorization bill for
FY 2001 (H.R. 4205), by a vote of 264 in favor to 153 against. The Kasich
amendment would require the President to certify, by April 1, 2001, that certain
burden-sharing goals had been met. These were for the European Union and
European NATO members to obligate 50% of their pledges for reconstruction, 85%
of pledges for humanitarian assistance, 85% of pledges for Kosovo’s budget, and 90%
43Congressional Record, May 11, 2000, S3899-S3900; “Cohen Warns of Veto Over Kosovo
Pullout Bill,” Washington Post, May 16, 2000.
44“Bush Tells Hill of Doubts on Kosovo Deadline,” Washington Post, May 17, 2000; “Bush
Deblates GOP Senators’ Plan to Confront Clinton over Kosovo,” Congressional Quarterly
Weekly Report, May 20, 2000, p. 1199-1201.
45On July 13, 2000, the President signed the FY 2001 military construction appropriations bill
into law (P.L. 106-246). It included emergency Fiscal Year 2000 supplementing funding for
U.S. military operations in Kosovo (about $2 billion) and for some economic assistance to
Kosovo, Croatia, and Montenegro ($50 million).
46The conference report on HR. 4425 provided, as emergency FY 2000 funding, $2.025 for
U.S .military operations in Kosovo, $50 million in SEED funds for Croatia and Montenegro,
and $12.4 million to assist police activities in Kosovo. H.R. 4425 was signed into law on July
of their pledges for the U.N. police. If no certification was provided, the amendment
would restrict any further funds for the continued deployment of U.S. armed forces
in Kosovo except for the purpose of withdrawing them. The President would have to
provide a plan for a phased withdrawal of U.S. troops within 30 days. The President
would be able waive the restriction for a maximum of 180 days (which could be
further extended if Congress so authorized). The Kasich amendment withheld no
funds at the outset. The addition of the waiver appeared to attract additional
supporters from both parties, in contrast to the earlier Kasich amendment that
narrowly failed in March.
In October, congressional conferees on the defense authorization bill, led by
Senator Warner, agreed to drop the controversial Kasich amendment in the face of
strong Clinton Administration opposition and the possible risk of a presidential veto.
Senator Levin argued that the Kosovo provision was not an appropriate way for
Congress to exercise its authority on this issue. The final bill did include provisions
requiring the President to provide a report to Congress on its exit strategy for U.S.
armed forces in Kosovo with militarily significant benchmarks. The President was
also required to submit semi-annual reports on the level of contributions of European
nations to Kosovo peacekeeping.
With regard to funding, the defense authorization bill limited Department of
Defense funds for Kosovo peacekeeping to $1.65 billion in FY 2001, with the
possibility of a presidential waiver to provide more. In the defense appropriations bill,
Congress appropriated about $2 billion for ongoing military operations in Kosovo
(H.R. 4586, P.L. 106-259). For civilian reconstruction assistance in FY 2001,
Congress (in the foreign operations appropriations bill, P.L. 106-429) limited U.S.
funds to 15% of the total amount pledged for calendar year 2001. After Milosevic’s
fall from power on October 5, appropriators included $100 million for assistance to
Serbia, available until March 31, 2001, after which, in order for more funding to be
available, the President must certify that Belgrade was cooperating with the Hague
Tribunal and implementing the Dayton peace agreement on Bosnia.
Toward the end of the 106th Congress, events took a dramatic turn in Serbia.
Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, unwisely gambling on renewing his term in
office, lost direct presidential elections in late September 2000 to democratic
challenger Vojislav Kostunica. At first refusing to recognize his defeat, Milosevic
eventually stepped down from power amidst massive demonstrations against his
continued rule. The emergence of a new Yugoslav leader and government without
Milosevic has added a new dimension to U.S. policy in the region, with possibly large
implications for Kosovo.47 Some Members of Congress have already warned that aid
47For more information, see Serbia and Montenegro: Political Situation and U.S. Policy, by
Steve Woehrel. CRS Report RL30371. Updated August 22, 2000.
to Serbia should be conditioned on the willingness of Belgrade’s new regime to
surrender war criminals, including Slobodan Milosevic, to the Hague Tribunal.48
The U.S. commitment of military forces to Kosovo and Bosnia also emerged as
a prominent campaign issue in the run-up to the 2000 presidential elections. In
October, the Bush campaign indicated that it would establish as a goal the withdrawal
of U.S. armed forces from the Balkans and hand over peacekeeping responsibilities
to the Europeans. The Gore campaign criticized the proposal as risky and
irresponsible, and said it would maintain the U.S. presence in these operations.
Kosovo and the surrounding region are likely to remain prominent foreign policy
concerns to the United States in the coming years. The continued deployment of U.S.
military forces in the region and the status of political and economic efforts to
establish peace will continue to be subjects of interest to the next Administration and
Congress. The emergence of a democratic regime in Serbia will present new policy
challenges to the international community. The impact of the change in Serbian
leadership on the Kosovo situation, however, remains unclear, as the positions of both
the Albanian and Serbian parties on Kosovo’s permanent status appear no closer than
Terms of the U.S. engagement of military and financial resources to Kosovo may
be further questioned and debated in the 107th Congress. Members of Congress who
objected to the initial deployment of U.S. troops to Kosovo may again express
opposition to their continued deployment. They may be joined by those who
supported U.S. participation at first, but now wish to see the United States articulate
some exit strategy for U.S. troops, such as turning over the mission to the European
allies. Some may see the fall of Milosevic in Serbia as a positive sign for the eventual
withdrawal of U.S. armed forces from the region. Some Members, both supporters
and opponents of the Kosovo mission, may try again to assert what they view to be
Congress’ authority and legislative prerogatives in matters relating to the use of U.S.
armed forces abroad.
Finding consensus on Kosovo policy in Congress has proven difficult in the past
and is likely to remain elusive. In part, this arises from the inherent complexity of the
issues involved with Kosovo. For opponents to continued military deployment,49
Kosovo represents an ill-defined, potentially dangerous, and open-ended mission.
The Kosovo deployment incurs substantial annual incremental costs to the U.S.
military and, opponents would argue, damages military readiness for deterring and
fighting wars. Opponents would cite the disproportionate U.S. contribution to
Operation Allied Force as a rationale for turning over the peacekeeping mission to the
European allies (perhaps with the United States continuing to provide intelligence and
logistics support). In contrast, supporters of continued deployment believe that the
United States maintains a significant interest in peace and stability in Kosovo. They
48“No Handouts Without a Handover,” New York Times op-ed by Senators Mitch McConnell
and Patrick Leahy, October 16, 2000.
49Reportedly, U.S. military officials have expressed frustration about the lack of a specified
end-state for the mission. “In Kosovo, an Uncertain Mission,” Washington Post, September
may view Kosovo as a positive example of how the use of limited force, in concert
with allies and regional partners, can contribute to building peace in a region vital to
U.S. interests. They may argue that the United States should fulfill its commitments,
especially since it is already providing a much smaller share of military and financial
resources to Kosovo than the European allies. Finally, they may predict negative
consequences to follow a unilateral U.S. withdrawal of troops from Kosovo. Still
others may fall somewhere in-between – supportive of efforts to find an exit strategy
for the U.S. military in Kosovo, but unwilling to try to impose such a strategy on the
President or on NATO.
Another challenge to consensus-building are the means available to Congress toth
address Kosovo policy. Legislative proposals considered during the 106 Congress
often used the blunt threat of withholding or cutting off funds to achieve various
policy objectives. Many proposals included complex formulations that tied military
funding to specific dates, presidential certifications, or other non-military criteria.
Many Members of Congress have been wary of mandated troop withdrawals that they
believe could adversely affect the U.S. military, and have been inclined to defer to
presidential authority on such matters. Proposals requiring executive branch reports
on the achievement of tangible “benchmarks” have elicited wider support.
How Kosovo plays in domestic politics may again prove to be an important
factor. The state of executive-legislative relations after the 2000 elections may shape
the congressional response on Kosovo. The new President’s ability to exert
leadership and communicate a convincing strategy on Kosovo may influence positions
of the Congress. Party leadership may also play a key role, especially since positions
on Kosovo in both chambers frequently cut through party lines in the past.
The congressional response will obviously also be tied to events as they unfold
in Kosovo and in the region. For example, Kosovo’s future permanent status has
remained unresolved. The international community has sought thus far to devise
autonomous political structures in Kosovo without redrawing international borders.
Most countries, including the United States, do not officially support independence
for Kosovo. The issue of whether independence is inevitable, what other options are
available, and what consequences may arise from Kosovo’s independence, is likely to
come under closer scrutiny in the near future. Some observers contend that ongoing
attacks by Albanians on the Serb population in Kosovo have further diminished
international support for Kosovo’s independence. Others argue that not moving
forward on this issue will only provoke more violence. Prospects for peace in Kosovo
will also remain closely tied to events in volatile Serbia. Many observers predict that
the key for a successful exit for U.S. armed forces from Kosovo will depend on
Serbia’s successful transition to a peaceful, democratic country. Milosevic’s fall from
power in October and the emergence of a democratic regime in Belgrade may or may
not facilitate a solution to the Kosovo problem. The democratic development of
Serbia, and the appropriate U.S. response to this process, is likely to become a major
foreign policy focus in the 107th Congress.
Appendix 1. 106th Congress, Major Legislation on
P.L. 106-31 (H.R. 1141), making emergencySigned by President, 5/21/99,
supplemental appropriations for FY1999P.L. 106-31 (113 STAT. 57)
--Provided about $12 billion for Kosovo defense and
humanitarian operations and other defense needs
--Required report by President by 9/30/99 on efforts to
seek equitable reimbursement for costs associated with
Operation Allied Force (Sec. 2005a)
--Required report by President 30 days after enactment on
U.S. participation in Operation Allied Force (Sec. 2006a)
Considered but Not Enacted:
--Amendment to S. 544 by Senator Hutchison to barHutchison amendment
funds for the deployment of U.S. ground forces in thewithdrawn, 3/23/99 (Senate
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY), unless certainpassed S. 544, 3/23/99)
conditions were met; required President to submit report
on benchmarks for the withdrawal of U.S. armed forces
--Amendment to H.R. 1664 by Rep. Istook to bar funds toIstook amendment failed House,
implement any plan to invade the FRY with U.S. ground117-301, 5/6/99
forces(House passed H.R. 1664, 5/6/99;
H.R. 1664 later incorporated into
P.L. 106-65 (S. 1059), authorizing defenseSigned by President, 10/5/99,
appropriations for FY2000P.L. 106-65 (113 STAT. 512)
--Required President to submit a supplemental
appropriations request for costs of conducting combat or
peacekeeping operations in the FRY in FY 2000
--Required Defense Secretary to submit report on the
effect of continued operations in the Balkans on military
readiness (Sec. 1035)
--Required Defense Secretary to submit report by 1/31/00
on the conduct of Operation Allied Force (Sec.1211)
--Sense of Congress on providing support and resources
to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former
--Required report by President by 3/1/00 on prioritizing
ongoing global missions involving US forces (Sec. 1235)
50This appendix provides brief summaries and the status of legislation or sections of
legislation specifically related to Kosovo; not all steps of the legislative process are included
for each bill. First listed are enacted bills in chronological order, followed by bills receiving
floor votes in either House or Senate, and then selection of introduced bills.
Considered but Not Enacted:
Amendment to S. 1059 by Senator Specter to bar fundsSpecter amendment tabled, 52-
for deployment of U.S. ground troops in Kosovo, except48, 5/25/99
for peacekeeping, unless authorized by declaration of war
or a joint resolution authorizing use of military force
--Amendment to S. 1059 by Senator Smith to bar fundsSmith amendment tabled, 77-21,
for military operations in the FRY unless authorized by5/26/99
Congress(Senate passed S. 1059, 5/27/99)
--Amendment to H.R. 1401 by Rep. Skelton to deleteSkelton amendment passed
language in House bill on prohibiting funds for combat orHouse, 270-155, 6/10/99
peacekeeping operations in the FRY after 9/30/99, and to
retain language requiring President to request
--Amendment to H.R. 1401 by Rep. Souder to prohibitSouder amendment failed House,
DoD funds for military operations in the FRY97-328, 6/10/99
(House passed H.R. 1401,
P.L. 106-79 (H.R. 2561, S. 1122), making DoDSigned by President, 10/25/99,
appropriations for FY 2000P.L. 106-79 (113 STAT. 1212)
--Required report by Secretary of Defense by 1/31/00 on
the conduct of Operation Allied Force (Sec. 8125)
--Barred funds from this or any other act for
reconstruction activities in the Republic of Serbia
(excluding Kosovo) as long as Slobodan Milosevic
remained FRY President (Sec. 8142)
P.L. 106-113 (H.R. 3194), making consolidatedSigned by President, 11/29/99,
appropriations for FY2000 [included H.R. 3422 - ForeignP.L. 106-113 (113 STAT. 1501)
Operations Appropriations and H.R. 3427 - Foreign
--Provided not less than $150 million for bilateral
assistance to Kosovo; no funds to be available until
Secretary of State certified that U.S. pledge at Kosovo
donors conference did not exceed 15% of total resources
pledged by all donors (appendix B/H.R. 3422, Title II)
--Prohibited funds under this act to be available for
Serbia, except for assistance for Kosovo or Montenegro or
for assistance to promote democratization in Serbia (Sec.
--Prohibited assistance, except for humanitarian and
democratization aid, to be provided for any country or
entity providing sanctuary to criminals indicted by the
war crimes Tribunal (Sec. 566)
--Deemed the FRY to be a state sponsor of terrorism for
the purposes of 28 U.S.C. 1605(a)(7); not to apply to
Montenegro and Kosovo (Sec. 591)
--Continued “outer wall” of sanctions against the FRY
during FY 2000 unless the President certified that a
number of conditions were met (Sec. 599)
Considered but Not Enacted:
S. 1234 (Senate bill for foreign operations appropriations)Provisions dropped in conference
designated $20 million for training and equipping a(Senate passed S. 1234, 6/30/99;
Kosovo security force; $85 million for Albania; $60incorporated into H.R. 2606 as
million for Romania; $55 million for Macedonia; $45an amendment; H.R. 2606 vetoed
million for Bulgaria; and $35 million for Montenegroby President 10/18/99)
S. 1234 designated the FRY as a terrorist state and
imposed sanctions (Sec. 525)
S. 1234 authorized $100 million for assistance to promote
democracy in the FRY (Sec. 586)
S. 1234 called for convening of an international
conference on the Balkans (Sec. 593)
P.L. 106-246 (H.R. 4425), making appropriations forSigned by President, 7/13/00,
military construction, family housing, and baseP.L. 106-246 (114 STAT. 511)
realignment and closure for DoD for FY2001 [included
supplemental appropriations for FY2000]
--Approved $2.025 billion, as requested, for U.S. military
operations as part of KFOR in FY2000; legislation also
provided $50 million in supplemental appropriations for
economic aid to Croatia, Montenegro, and $12.4 million
for Kosovo police activities
Considered but Not Enacted:
--Amendment to H.R. 3908 offered by Rep. Kasich toKasich amendment failed House,
withhold half of military funds until President certified200-219, 3/29/00
that burden-sharing requirements with European allies on(House passed H.R. 3908,
aid and civil reconstruction efforts in Kosovo had been3/29/00 [Senate did not consider
metH.R. 3908, but attached portions
of it to regular FY
--Amendment to S. 2521 by Senator Levin to strikeLevin amendment passed Senate,
Section 2410 (Byrd-Warner amendment) requiring53-47, 5/18/00
withdrawal of U.S. troops by July 2001 unless Congress(Senate Appropriations
authorized such deployment, with a 180-day waiverCommittee passed Byrd-Warner
provision; also limited obligation of funds until Presidentamendment, 23-3, 5/9/00)
certified that burden-sharing requirements with European(Senate passed S. 2521, 5/18/00)
allies on aid and civil reconstruction efforts in Kosovo
had been met
P.L. 106-259 (H.R. 4576), making DoD appropriationsSigned by President, 8/9/00, P.L.
for FY2001106-259 (114 STAT. 656)
--Appropriated over $4 billion for ongoing military
contingency operations in Kosovo (about $2 billion),
Bosnia, and the Persian Gulf
--Barred funds from this or any other Act for
reconstruction activities in Serbia (excluding Kosovo) as
long as Slobodan Milosevic remains FRY president (Sec.
P.L. 106-398 (H.R. 4205), authorizing defenseSigned by President, 10/30/00,
appropriations for FY 2001P.L. 106-398 (114 STAT 1654)
--Limited funds for Bosnia and Kosovo peacekeeping to
$1.4 billion and $1.65 billion, respectively, for FY2001.
President could waive limitation with written certification
--Required annual report by Defense Secretary on effect
of continued operations in the Balkans on military
readiness (Sec. 1211)
--Required President to establish benchmarks for
conditions in Kosovo that would allow for the withdrawal
of U.S. armed forces from Kosovo, develop a
comprehensive political-military strategy for the Balkan
region, and submit semi-annual progress reports (Sec.
--Required President to submit semi-annual reports on the
contributions of European nations to Kosovo
peacekeeping, with the first report to be submitted by
Considered but Not Enacted:
--Amendment to H.R. 4205 by Rep. Kasich to require theKasich amendment passed
withdrawal of U.S. armed forces from Kosovo unless theHouse, 264-153, 5/17/00;
President certified by 4/1/01 that burden-sharing goalsdropped in conference
had been met; limited waiver provision included (Sec.(House passed H.R. 4205,
P.L. 106-429 (H.R. 4811), making appropriations forSigned by President, 11/6/00,
foreign operations, export financing, and relatedP.L. 106-429 (114 STAT 1900)
programs for FY2001
--Set limit of U.S. aid to Kosovo to 15% of total funds
pledged by donors, as of 3/31/01, for calendar year 2001
--Prohibited assistance, except for humanitarian and
democracy aid, to countries providing sanctuary to
indicted war criminals (Sec. 564)
--Provided $100 million for assistance to Serbia;
President to certify by 3/31/01that the FRY is meeting
certain requirements (Sec. 594)
Considered but Not Enacted:
--S. 2522 (Senate bill) barred funds for Kosovo untilProvisions dropped in conference
certification by Secretary of State that amount not exceed(Senate passed S. 2522, 6/21/00;
--S. 2522 restricted assistance to Serbia (Sec. 537)
--S. 2522 designated the FRY to be state sponsor of
terrorism (Sec. 582)
--S. 2522 continued application of certain sanctions
against Serbia (Sec. 584)
--S. 2522 imposed sanctions against Russia for providing
Serbia with loans, economic assistance, and oil (Sec.
--H.R. 4811 (House bill) limited funding for Kosovo to
Other Legislation Considered But Not Enacted
H.R. 1569, prohibiting use of DoD funds for deploymentHouse passed, 249-180, 4/28/99
of U.S. ground troops in the FRY unless such deployment
was specifically authorized by law
S. 720/H.R. 1064 (“Serbia Democratization Act");Senate passed S. 720, 11/4/99;
similar bills authorizing an assistance program (overHouse passed H.R. 1064, 9/25/00
$100 million) to promote democracy and civil society in
Serbia and Montenegro while codifying certain sanctions
against the FRY until the President certified that several
conditions were met
H.J.Res. 44, declaring a state of war between the UnitedFailed passage in House, 2-427,
States and the FRY, pursuant to section 5(b) of the War4/28/99
S.J.Res. 20, authorizing the President to use all necessaryTabled in Senate, 78-22, 5/4/99
force and other means, in concert with our allies, to
accomplish U.S. and NATO objectives in the FRY
H.Con.Res. 42, regarding the use of U.S. Armed ForcesHouse passed, 219 to 191,
as part of a NATO peacekeeping operation in Kosovo3/11/99
--Authorized president to deploy U.S. Armed Forces to
Kosovo as part of a NATO peacekeeping operation
--Authorization subject to limitation that the number of
U.S. Armed Forces not exceed 15% of the total NATO
H.Con.Res. 82, directing the President, pursuant toFailed passage in House, 139-
section 5(c) of the War Powers Resolution, to remove290, 4/28/99
U.S. Armed Forces from their positions in operations
against the FRY within 30 days
S.Con.Res. 21, authorizing the President to conductSenate passed, 58-41, 3/23/99
military air operations and missile strikes in cooperationFailed passage in House, 213-
with NATO allies against the FRY213, 4/28/99
S.Con.Res. 40, commending the President and the armedSenate passed, u.c., 6/17/99
forces for the success of Operation Allied Force
H.Res.130, expressing the support of the House ofHouse passed, 424-1, 3/24/99
Representatives for the members of the U.S. Armed
Forces who were engaged in military operations against
H.Res.451, calling for lasting peace, justice, and stabilityHouse passed, voice vote,
S.Res.74, expressing the support of the Senate for theSenate passed, voice vote,
members of the U.S. Armed Forces who were engaged in3/24/99
military operations against the FRY
Other Legislation Introduced But Not Considered
H.R. 4053 (“The United States-Southeastern EuropeIntroduced in House and referred
Democratization and Burden-Sharing Act of 2000"), toto Committee on International
authorize assistance for democratization in Serbia andRelations, 3/22/00
Montenegro, and to require equitable burden-sharing in
multilateral assistance programs for southeastern Europe,
limiting total amount of bilateral U.S. assistance to 15%
or less of total amount of multilateral assistance provided
to southeastern Europe
S. 2680 (“Balkans Peace and Prosperity Act of 2000"), toIntroduced in Senate and referred
authorize necessary sums for a Balkan Stabilizationto Committee on Foreign
Conference, to be convened by the U.S. to consider allRelations, 6/6/00
outstanding issues related to Bosnia and Serbia
H.Con.Res. 99, expressing Sense of the Congress onIntroduced in House and referred
support for the Balkans peace initiative launched by theto Committee on International
U.S. Congress and Russian Duma on April 30-May 1,Relations, 5/5/99; HIRC held
1999; the initiative recommended termination of thehearings, 5/13/99
NATO air strikes, withdrawal of FRY forces from
Kosovo, and cessation of military activities by the Kosovo
S. 846, H.R. 1408 (“The Kosova Self-Defense Act”),Introduced in House and referred
authorizing $25 million for training and support to theto Committee on International
interim government of Kosova to defend and protect theRelations, 4/14/99; introduced in
Kosova population against armed aggressionSenate and referred to
Committee on Foreign Relations,
Appendix 2. 106th Congress, Major Legislation on
Kosovo – Summaries by Theme
Below is a selection of legislation and legislative proposals from the 106th
Congress organized by theme (listed in chronological order under each heading).
Congressional Authorization and War Powers
•H.Con.Res. 42. This concurrent resolution authorized the President to deploy
U.S. armed forces personnel to Kosovo as part of a NATO peacekeeping
operation implementing a Kosovo peace agreement. The resolution set forth
several reporting requirements.
[Status: passed House, 219-191, on March 11, 1999.]
•S.Con.Res. 21. This concurrent resolution authorized the President to conduct
military air operations and missile strikes in cooperation with our NATO allies
against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY, Serbia-Montenegro).
[Status: passed Senate, 58-41, on March 23, 1999. Resolution failed passage
in the House on April 28, 1999, by a vote of 213 to 213.]
•S. 544 (FY 1999 Emergency Supplemental Appropriations). Senator Lott
submitted an amendment (to an amendment by Senator Hutchison) that barred
DoD funds to be used for the purpose of conducting military operations in the
FRY unless Congress first enacted a law containing specific authorization for
such operations. The Lott amendment included the finding that U.S. national
security interests in Kosovo did not rise to a level that warranted U.S. military
[Status: Introduced as an amendment to Hutchison’s amendment on March 19,
1999. On March 23, Senate voted, 55-44, not to invoke cloture on the Lott
amendment. Hutchison’s amendment, including Lott’s amending amendment,
was withdrawn on March 23, 1999.]
•H.R. 1569, “Military Operations in the FRY Limitation Act.” This act
prohibited use of Department of Defense funds for the deployment of U.S.
ground forces to the FRY without specific authorization by law.
[Status: House passed, 249-180, on April 28, 1999.]
•H.Con.Res. 82. This concurrent resolution directed the President, pursuant to
section 5(c) of the War Powers Resolution, to remove U.S. Armed Forces from
their positions in operations against the FRY within 30 days.
[Status: House rejected, 139-290, on April 28, 1999.]
•H.J.Res. 44. This joint resolution declared a state of war existed between the
United States and the FRY, pursuant to section 5(b) of the War Powers
Resolution and article 1, section 8 of the United States Constitution.
[Status: House rejected, 2-427, on April 28, 1999.]
•S.J.Res. 20. This joint resolution authorized the President to use all necessary
force and other means, in concert with our allies, to accomplish U.S. and NATO
objectives in the FRY.
[Status: Senate voted, 78-22, to table resolution on May 4, 1999.]
•H.R. 1664 (FY 1999 Supplemental Appropriations). An amendment by Rep.
Istook barred DoD funds for the implementation of any plan to invade the FRY
with U.S. ground forces, except in time of war.
[Status: House rejected Istook amendment, 117-301, on May 6, 1999.]
•S. 1059 (FY 2000 Department of Defense Authorization). A modified
amendment by Senator Specter barred DoD funds for deployment of U.S.
ground forces in Kosovo, except for peacekeeping personnel, unless authorized
by declaration of war or a joint resolution authorizing the use of military force.
[Status: Senate tabled amendment, 52-48, on May 25, 1999.]
•S. 2521 (FY 2001 Appropriations for Military Construction). Among several
provisions regarding U.S. ground forces in Kosovo, Section 2410 of the Senate
bill withheld funds for the continued deployment of U.S. armed forces in Kosovo
after July 1, 2001, unless and until the President requested congressional
authorization for the continued deployment and Congress enacted a joint
resolution giving such specific authorization. The section provided for a 90-day
waiver that could be exercised twice.
[Status: The so-called Byrd-Warner provision removed by an amendment by
Senator Levin. Levin amendment passed the Senate, 53-47, on May 18, 2000.]
Exit Strategy for U.S. Armed Forces
•S. 544 (FY 1999 Emergency Supplemental Appropriations). An amendment
introduced by Senator Hutchison included a requirement for the President to
submit a report every 60 days on the benchmarks established to measure
progress and determine the withdrawal of U.S. armed forces from the foreseen
Kosovo peacekeeping operation. Each report was to detail progress on
achieving the benchmarks and include an estimated timetable for successful
achievement of the benchmarks.
[Status: Hutchison amendment withdrawn from S. 544 on March 23, 1999.]
•H.R. 1408, S. 846, “Kosovo Self-Defense Act.” Rep. Engel in the House and
Senator McConnell and Senator Lieberman in the Senate introduced these bills
to provide funding for a security assistance training and support program for the
self-defense of Kosovo. Stating that “it shall be the policy of the United States
to provide the interim government of Kosova with the capability to defend and
protect the civilian population of Koosova against armed aggression,” the bill
provided $25 million for a training and support program. Sponsors of the bill
suggested that this program would provide an “exit strategy” for U.S. armed
forces by enabling the Kosovars to defend themselves.
[Status: H.R. 1408 introduced and referred to Committee on International
Relations, April 14, 1999. S. 846 introduced and referred to Committee on
Foreign Relations, April 21, 1999.]
•P.L. 106-398 (H.R. 4205, FY 2001 Defense Authorization Act). Section 1212
of the Act required the President to develop, by May 31, 2001, militarily
significant benchmarks for conditions that would achieve a sustainable peace in
Kosovo and ultimately allow for the withdrawal of the United States military
presence in Kosovo. The President would also develop a comprehensive
political-military strategy for addressing U.S. objectives in the Balkan region.
The President was to report on progress in reaching the benchmarks not later
than June 1, 2001, and every six months thereafter.
[Status: became law, October 30, 2000]
•P.L. 106-31 (FY 1999 Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act). In an
effort to increase burden-sharing, Section 2005a of the Act required the
President to seek equitable reimbursement from NATO for the costs incurred in
connection with Operation Allied Force. The President was to submit a report
to Congress by September 30, 1999, on these efforts.
[Status: became law, May 21, 1999.]
•H.Res. 268, “Kosovo Burden-sharing Resolution.” This resolution sponsored
by Rep. Bereuter, expressed the sense that the United States should not pay
more than 18 percent of the aggregate total costs associated with the military air
operation, reconstruction in Kosovo, and, when conditions permit, in other parts
of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the Kosovo peacekeeping force, and
programs of the United Nations and other international organizations in Kosovo
[Status: introduced and referred to Committee on International Relations, July
•P.L. 106-113 (FY 2000 Consolidated Appropriations Act). Assistance for
Kosovo was conditioned upon the Secretary of State certifying that the
resources pledged by the United States at the Kosovo donors conference not
exceed 15 percent of the total resources pledged by all donors.
[Status: became law, November 29, 1999.]
•H.R. 4053, “The United States-Southeastern Europe Democratization and
Burden-Sharing Act.” This bill, sponsored by Rep. Gilman, authorized
assistance for democratization in Serbia and Montenegro and required equitable
burden-sharing in multilateral assistance programs for the countries of
southeastern Europe. The bill limited the total amount of bilateral U.S.
assistance to the region to an amount not to exceed 15% of the total amount of
multilateral assistance provided to southeastern European countries.
[Status: introduced and referred to Committee on International Relations,
March 22, 2000.]
•H.R. 3908 (FY 2000 Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act).
Amendment sponsored by Rep. Kasich withheld 50% of funds until the President
certified that the European Union and NATO allies had obligated: 33% of
amounts pledged for Kosovo reconstruction; 75% of amounts pledged for
humanitarian assistance in Kosovo; 75% of amounts pledged for the Kosovo
consolidated budget; and had deployed 75% of the number of police to the U.N.
police force in Kosovo. If the President did not provide certification by June 1,
2000, then the remaining 50% of funds could only be used for conducting a
phased withdrawal of U.S. armed forces from Kosovo.
[Status: House rejected amendment, 200-219, March 29, 2000.]
•H.R. 4205 (FY 2001 Defense Authorization Act). An amendment sponsored by
Rep. Kasich barred funds for the continued deployment of U.S. armed forces in
Kosovo after April 1, 2001, unless the President certified to Congress that a
number of burden-sharing goals had been met. For these goals to be met, the
European allies must have obligated 50% of their pledges for the reconstruction
of Kosovo, 85% of funds committed for humanitarian assistance, 85% for the
Kosovo consolidated budget, and 90% of the amount of police forces to the
U.N. police force in Kosovo.
[Status: Kasich amendment passed House, 264-153, on May 17, 2000.
Provision was dropped in conference.]
•S. 2521 (FY 2001 Appropriations for Military Construction). Among several
provisions regarding U.S. ground forces in Kosovo, Section 2410 of the Senate
bill said that not more than 75% of FY 2000 may be obligated until the President
certified that the EU and NATO allies has obligated 33% of amounts pledged for
Kosovo reconstruction; 75% of amounts pledged for humanitarian assistance in
Kosovo; 75% of amounts pledged for the Kosovo consolidated budget; and had
deployed 75% of the number of police to the U.N. police force in Kosovo.
[Status: The so-called Byrd-Warner provision removed by amendment by
Senator Levin. Levin amendment passed the Senate, 53-47, on May 18, 2000.]
•P.L. 106-398, (H.R. 4205, FY 2001 Defense Authorization Act). Section 1213
of the conference report required the President to submit a semi-annual report
on the contributions of European nations and organizations to the peacekeeping
and civil operations in Kosovo.
[Status: became law, October 30, 2000]
•P.L. 106-429, (H.R. 4811, FY 2001 Appropriations for Foreign Operations).
Set limit of U.S. assistance to Kosovo to 15% of total donors funds pledged for
calendar year 2001.
[Status: became law, November 6, 2000]
•P.L. 106-79 (FY 2000 Department of Defense Appropriations Act). Section
8142 of the Act barred funds from this or any other Act for reconstruction
activities in Serbia (excluding Kosovo) as long as Slobodan Milosevic remained
President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
[Status: became law, October 25, 1999.]
•S. 720/H.R.1064, “Serbia Democratization Act.” In addition to authorizing an
assistance program for the development of democratic and civil society in
Yugoslavia, these similar bills sponsored by Senator Helms in the Senate and
Rep. Smith in the House enumerated several sanctions already in effect against
Belgrade and conditioned the lifting of sanctions on several criteria.
[Status: Senate passed S. 720, November 4, 1999. House passed H.R. 1064,
September 25, 2000.]
•S. 2382, “Technical Assistance, Trade Promotion, and Anti-Corruption Act of
2000.” This bill authorized a range of foreign aid activities. Title V of the bill
incorporated the Serbia Democratization Act, above.
[Status: Reported by the Committee on Foreign Relations, April 7, 2000.]
•P.L. 106-113 (FY 2000 Consolidated Appropriations Act). Section 537 of the
Act prohibited funds to be made available for Serbia, except for assistance to
Kosovo or Montenegro or for promoting democracy in Serbia. Section 566
prohibited assistance, except for humanitarian and democratization aid, to be
provided for any country or entity failing to apprehend war criminals to the war
crimes Tribunal. Section 599 continued the “outer wall” of sanctions against the
FRY during FY 2000 unless the President certified that a number of conditions
[Status: became law, November 29, 1999]
•P.L. 106-429 (FY 2001 Appropriations for Foreign Operations Act). Section
564 of the Act restricted assistance to countries providing sanctuary to indicted
war criminals. Other sanctions against Serbia in House and Senate bills were
dropped in conference, in favor of $100 million in assistance to Serbia (sec. 594)
provided that President determined that Serbia had met a number of conditions.
[Status: became law, November 6, 2000]
•Regarding the right of self-determination: H. Con. Res. 9 and H. Con. Res. 32
expressed the sense that the United States should support the right of self-
determination of the Albanians of Kosovo. Both were referred to the Committee
on International Relations.
•H.Con.Res. 99. This concurrent resolution, sponsored by Rep. Weldon,
expressed support for the recommendations of the United States
Congress-Russian Duma meeting in Vienna, Austria, held April 30, to May 1,
1999, on the situation in Kosovo. Among other things, the conference called for
the end of NATO bombing against the FRY, the withdrawal of Serbian forces
from Kosovo, and the cessation of military activities of the Kosovo Liberation
[Introduced and referred to Committee on International Relations, May 5,
•S. 720/H.R. 1064, “Serbia Democratization Act.” These similar bills,
sponsored by Senator Helms in the Senate and Rep. Smith in the House,
authorized an assistance program of over $100 million to promote democracy
and civil society in Serbia and Montenegro and to assist the victims of Serbian
oppression. The bills applied certain measures against the FRY.
[Status: Senate passed S. 720, November 4, 1999. House passed H.R. 1064,
September 25, 2000.]
•S. 2680, “Balkans Peace and Prosperity Act.” Senator Hutchison introduced
this bill to authorize funds for the convening of a Balkans Stabilization
Conference. The purpose of the conference was to consider all outstanding
issues related to the execution of the Dayton Accords and the peace
agreement with Serbia that ended Operation Allied Force.
[Status: introduced and referred to Committee on Foreign Relations, June 6,