The White House, President George W. Bush Click to print this document

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
January 31, 2003

Message to the Congress of the United States

Pursuant to section 1212 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2001, Public Law 106398, I hereby submit a report, prepared by my Administration, on the progress made in achieving the 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 term "militarily significant" relates to tasks and objectives significant from a military standpoint that once accomplished, would allow for withdrawal of military forces from Kosovo. In the establishment of the Kosovo benchmarks, four critical tasks for NATO forces were identified: military stability; public security; border/boundary issues; and war crimes/support to the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. Objectives for these tasks were drawn from United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244, the NATO Operations Plan, the Military Technical Agreement, and the Kosovo Liberation Army Undertaking.

I anticipate that Kosovo Force and U.S. participation in it will gradually reduce in size as public security conditions improve and Kosovars assume increasing responsibility for their own selfgovernment.

January 31, 2003.

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