Clinton and General Clark

What kind of message is President Clinton sending to America's fighting forces when he cuts short the term of the general who won the Kosovo war?

The official excuse given for relieving NATO commander Gen. Wesley Clark two months shy of his term is to make room for another general who might otherwise have retired.

Alas, that narrow personnel judgment still leaves a bad odor for those who admire the way General Clark conducted the 11-week war with patience, precision, and punch.

Did he make mistakes? Was he too pushy with his political superiors? If so, that still doesn't justify leaving the impression within the military that even a war-winning general can be abruptly and coldly removed.

Let's hope the damage can be repaired soon by giving Clark high honors for keeping Europe safe from a despot - and for doing so with no NATO battle casualties.

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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