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Vets Want US Troops Out of Balkans

May 6, 1999

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) _ The nation’s largest veterans organization has urged President Clinton to immediately withdraw U.S. troops from the Balkans.

``We believe the best thing we can do to support our troops, to protect our troops, is to bring them home,″ said Harold L. ``Butch″ Miller, national commander of The American Legion. ``We believe we are getting into a bad situation in Kosovo.″

The Legion’s national executive committee unanimously adopted a resolution Wednesday calling for all U.S. soldiers, pilots and support staff to be removed from the region.

The resolution says the U.S.-led NATO attacks against Serbia ``could only lead to troops being killed, wounded or captured without advancing any clear purpose, mission or objective.″

The Legion would permit U.S. involvement if Congress passes a resolution supporting the NATO action; U.S. troops are led only by U.S. commanders; the president explains why the action is ``in our vital national interests;″ and guidelines for the campaign, including an exit strategy, are established.

The Legion, which represents about 2.9 million American veterans, has scheduled a news conference today to discuss the resolution, which is being delivered to the White House and all members of Congress.

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