Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright
Interview on NBC-TV's Nightly News With Tom Brokaw
Washington, DC, December 9, 1998
As released by the Office of the Spokesman, December 10, 1998
U.S. Department of State
[End of Document]
MR. BROKAW: (In progress) -- before she left, I talked to her at the State Department about foreign policy problems facing the US, including the prospect that Saddam Hussein would again break his promises.
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: The United States has said no more warnings, no more consultations, we will take whatever action militarily we need to.
MR. BROKAW: But we've said that all before and always, at the last moment, he dodges the bullet.
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: I really do think that we have done all the diplomacy that is possible to do. The military option is there on the table, and he knows that.
MR. BROKAW: Your critics are saying that you have reversed the Teddy Roosevelt dictum -- that you are speaking mildly, but carrying a small stick.
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: People forget that using the military is a means, it is not an end. The bottom line is, how do we get compliance -- it's not just bombing for the sake of bombing.
MR. BROKAW: As Madame Secretary, Madeleine Albright often repeats the saying of one of her predecessors: foreign policy problems are not like headaches; they don't go away by taking a pill.
On her watch, Kosovo has become another war waiting to happen. And no one expects this temporary peace to last long.
Do you think that you can avoid putting NATO forces, including American units, into Kosovo sometime in 1999?
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: We are trying to make sure that both sides abide by the cease-fire. We've solved the immediate humanitarian catastrophe, but we have not solved the political crisis.
MR. BROKAW: Her trip this week with the President to the Gaza Strip -- are there fears?
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: We're all anxious all the time. Obviously, if there are security concerns, we will (inaudible) worry about those and take care of them.
MR. BROKAW: Russia. The Administration has made a big bet on Yeltsin. He's collapsing and so is his country.
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: We will continue to work the problem. I don't think it requires a new strategy; I think it requires us to be realistic about what is going on there, support the reformers.
MR. BROKAW: But candidly, hasn't it proved to be much more vexing than you ever anticipated?
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Yes, it's more difficult; but it doesn't mean that we give up.
MR. BROKAW: Let me ask you, as a former professor, to grade your tenure as Secretary of State.
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: I would give myself probably a B and good effort, hard work, needs to have more results.
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