Clinton Weighs Use of Force Against Serbs

THE United Nations already has tightened tight economic sanctions on the former Yugoslavia. Now the question becomes: Will the United States lead a Western military effort to end the year-long civil war?

President Clinton said Monday that the US and its allies must come up with a "stronger policy" on Bosnia and said he hopes to announce new US proposals within the next several days. As he consults with experts, the president will hear a wide variety of opinions.

Sen. Richard Lugar (R) of Indiana, a senior member of the Foreign Relations Committee, said yesterday on the Fox Morning News, "I believe we're at a point at which ... air strikes in Bosnia are important, and likewise I would favor the rearming of the Bosnians."

Former Secretary of State George Schultz, now peddling his memoirs, is even more bellicose. In an interview with the Associated Press, Mr. Schultz called for a "a very large, sustained air- and sea-based attack" on the Serbs, similar to the Desert Storm operation against Iraq.

But Rep. Lee Hamilton (D) of Indiana, the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said it was too soon to launch air strikes or lift the embargo on weapons to the Bosnians. "It is not clear to me exactly what you can accomplish with air strikes, where it will lead, what its purpose is, how deeply is that going to involve us?" Mr. Hamilton said yesterday. Clinton by the numbers

A new Associated Press poll finds that President Clinton may have a credibility gap. Of those surveyed, 48 percent say he has broken promises too often, while 34 percent say he has kept his promises so far.

The poll results were not entirely bad news for the president. Slightly more of the respondents said Clinton has set the right tone for his administration than said he has it wrong, by 44 percent to 40 percent. And the poll finds more people consider Clinton a strong leader than not, 49 percent to 37 percent, with the rest unsure. Seeking a second opinion

The Clinton administration's plan to overhaul the nation's health care system will go before a special panel of doctors, nurses, and health experts for a final look before it is released. The 47-member panel, which will work without pay, will take less than a week to review the administration plan before it is issued by the end of May.

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