Six Congressional Candidates Respond to Issue of Troops in Bosnia
This is the last in a series of reports where candidates stand on the issues in the March 17 Republican primary for the 13th Congressional District.
In addition to continued day-to-day coverage of the campaign, the Daily Herald plans a special election guide to appear March 15 in the Neighbor section.
Six candidates are competing for the Republican nomination in the March 17 primary to fill the seat of retiring Congressman Harris Fawell in the 13th Congressional District.
The district covers most of southern DuPage County, Will County and portions of Cook County. It includes Naperville and Lisle and portions of Oak Brook, Oakbrook Terrace, Lombard, Warrenville, Wheaton and Glen Ellyn.
The winner will face Democrat Susan Hynes in the November general election.
The GOP candidates are:
Judy Biggert, 60, of Hinsdale. She has been a state representative since 1993.
Andrew J. "Andy" Clark, 66, of Downers Grove. A Republican committeeman, he is a retired engineer from AT&T.
Michael J. Krzyston, 41, of Hinsdale. He is president of Market Knowledge Inc.
Peter Roskam, 37, of Naperville. He has been a state legislator since 1993.
David Shestokas, 46, of Lemont. He is an assistant state's attorney in Cook County.
Question: What are your views on the president's decision to extend the stay of U.S. troops in Bosnia?
Judy Biggert: I don't oppose the president's decision to extend the stay of our troops in Bosnia beyond the June 1998 deadline. But I believe Congress and the American people have a right to know how and when he intends to accomplish our mission there.
In general, I do not believe U.S. troops should be deployed to foreign conflicts unless such involvement is in our vital national interest. And before any troops are deployed anywhere in the world, there must be a clear set of objectives, a plan to achieve those objectives, a well-defined command structure and a strategy and timetable for withdrawal.
I'm not convinced the president has made a case that it is in our vital national interest to keep troops in Bosnia. Nor do I believe he has articulated a set of objectives and exit strategies that will prevent the kind of "mission creep" we have seen to frequently in the past.
Andrew Clark: The president broke his word by extending the stay of troops in Bosnia past one year. Furthermore, I disagree with the entire Bosnian policy.
The United States will accomplish nothing by interfering in another country's civil war; it will only postpone the outcome, e.g., Israel/Palestine, China/Taiwan, North Korea/South Korea, North Vietnam/South Vietnam and the war between the states.
The Serbs are in a holding pattern until U.S. troops leave the area. When violence will flare again until, the people involved resolve their differences. This situation has been festering for hundreds of years, and a few years of United Nations intervention isn't going to change things.
Michael Krzyston: President Clinton's decision to keep troops in Bosnia is the direct result of his administration's failure to secure an international coalition committed to peace in the region.
Peace-keeping troops are definitely needed in the region; however, the vast majority of troops should have come from current and future NATO allies.
U.S. troops should be deployed only when a clear objective and time frame has been established. Once done, logistics of an operation should be undertaken for military and not political reason. The president should establish the objections and the military the execution.
Walter Maksym: The United States should strictly adhere to a general policy of extreme caution and restraint with respect to employing or maintaining troops abroad. This is especially true when deadlines for withdrawal are set.
In the absence of a clear treaty obligation, a declared or de facto state of war, a pure and compelling emergency humanitarian efforts, such as those authorized by President Bush during the horrific Ethiopian famine (and then on a volunteer basis), the president should not allow or order American service personnel to become or remain involved in such extended stays absent specific prior congressional approval. …