to the Speaker of the House and the President Pro Tempore of the Senate
May 14, 2003
Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:)
In my report to the Congress of November 15, 2002, I provided information
regarding the continued deployment of combat-equipped U.S. military personnel
as the U.S. contribution to the NATO-led international security force in Kosovo
(KFOR) and to other countries in the region in support of that force. I am
providing this supple-mental report prepared by my Administration, consistent
with the War Powers Resolution (Public Law 93-148), to help ensure that the
Congress is kept fully informed on continued U.S. contributions in support
of peacekeeping efforts in Kosovo.
As noted in previous reports, the U.N. Security Council authorized member
states to establish KFOR in U.N. Security Council Resolution 1244 of June 10,
1999. The mission of KFOR is to provide an international security presence
in order to deter renewed hostilities; verify and, if necessary, enforce the
terms of the Military Technical Agreement between NATO and the Federal Republic
of Yugoslavia; enforce the terms of the Undertaking on Demilitarization and
Transformation of the former Kosovo Liberation Army; provide day-to-day operational
direction to the Kosovo Protection Corps; and maintain a safe and secure environment
to facilitate the work of the U.N. Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo
Currently, the U.S. contribution to KFOR in Kosovo is about 2,250 U.S. military
personnel, or approximately 9 percent of KFOR's total strength. Additionally,
U.S. military personnel occasionally operate from Macedonia, Albania, and Greece
in support of KFOR operations. Nineteen non-NATO contributing countries also
participate with NATO forces in providing military personnel and other support
personnel to KFOR.
The U.S. forces are assigned to a sector principally centered around Gnjilane
in the eastern region of Kosovo. For U.S. KFOR forces, as for KFOR generally,
maintaining a safe and secure environment remains the primary military task.
The KFOR forces operate under NATO command and control and rules of engagement.
The KFOR coordinates with and supports UNMIK at most levels, provides a security
presence in towns, villages, and the country-side, and organizes checkpoints
and patrols in key areas to provide security, protect minorities, resolve disputes,
and help instill in the community a feeling of confidence.
The UNMIK continues to transfer non-reserved competencies under the Constitutional
Framework document to the Kosovar Provisional Institutions of Self-Government
(PISG). The PISG includes the President, Prime Minister, and Kosovo Assembly,
and has been in place since March 2002. Municipal elections were successfully
held for a second time in October 2002.
NATO continues formally to review KFOR's mission at 6-month intervals. These
reviews provide a basis for assessing current force levels, future requirements,
force structure, force reductions, and the eventual withdrawal of KFOR. NATO
has adopted the Joint Operations Area plan to regionalize and rationalize its
force structure in the Balkans. The KFOR has transferred full responsi-bility
for public safety and policing to the UNMIK international and local police
forces throughout Kosovo except in the area of Mitrovica, where the responsibility
is shared due to security concerns. The UNMIK international police and local
police forces have also begun to assume responsibility for guarding patrimonial
sites and established border-crossing checkpoints.
The continued deployment of U.S. forces has been undertaken pursuant to my
constitutional authority to conduct U.S. foreign relations and as Commander
in Chief and Chief Executive. I appreciate the continued support of the Congress
in these actions.