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U.S. Department of State

Great Seal Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright
Interview on NBC-TV Nightly News with Tom Brokaw
April 5, 1999, Washington, D.C.
As released by the Office of the Spokesman
U.S. Department of State

Blue Bar

MR. BROKAW: NBC News in depth tonight, the military and political questions that so many people are asking. Tonight, answers from Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, one of the chief architects of the American policy. Ironically, Albright and her family found sanctuary in Belgrade during World War II, when their Czech homeland was in peril. Today, I asked the secretary what happens if Milosevic still is hanging on in two weeks or so.

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Iím not going to put a time limit on this, and I think that it is wrong to measure this in days or in hours here. We are in for an intensive campaign that is working.

MR. BROKAW: You continue to say that it is working. It seems to a lot of people, both expert and lay people as they look in on it, that Milosevic is winning this campaign.

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: I think that clearly he has a lot of support among his people because they -- do you know that they have no idea what is going on? There is nothing on Serb television that would indicate that thereís any ethnic violent slaughter going on. So I think itís very hard to say the kind of support he has. Clearly, this has whipped up nationalist support.

MR. BROKAW: Do you think that the American people understand that, in the best-case scenario, we now have a very long and what could prove to be politically and financially expensive commitment to Kosovo?

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: I think that the American people actually understand, because the President has said so many times, the necessity for patience and determination.

MR. BROKAW: At the end of all of this, however it turns out, if the Albanian ethnic group that has been living in Kosovo comes to the United States and says, now we must have our independence, we cannot possibly live with Belgrade. Are we prepared to be the guarantors of that?

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: I think, Tom, there are other ways to make sure that the Kosovar Albanians have the possibility to live with an autonomous, high degree of self-government. So I do not think that independence is the only answer. There are other ways for the Kosovar Albanain people to fulfill their dreams.

MR. BROKAW: Are you going to recommend to the President that he use the Apache helicopters that are going into the theater for combat purposes?

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: We have -- the advisors as a whole have made that recommendation to enhance the air campaign.

MR. BROKAW: But the Apaches require lots of people on the ground as well, not only as support but in logistical capacities. Arenít we kind of creeping our way toward the infusion of ground troops into that area?

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Well, they do require support, but it is for an air campaign. As we have all said many times, there are no intentions or plans for ground forces. A massive ground force or an invading force is not what anybody has in mind.

MR. BROKAW: Secretary of State Madeleine Albright tonight.

[End of Document]

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