“Foreign Policy Legacies of the Clinton Administration for American Administrations in the Twenty-first Century
On the first day of the NATO air campaign against Serbian forces in Kosovo in March 1999, President Clinton addressed the American people and justified American participation in those air strikes by asserting that "we are upholding our values, protecting our interests and advancing the cause of peace."1 The United States, Clinton declared, was acting out of a "moral imperative" to help the people of Kosovo, but he also justified American actions as an effort to defend its "national interest" by preventing the conflict from spreading into the rest of Europe and by demonstrating the effectiveness of the NATO alliance in the post-Cold War era.2 By early 1999, foreign policy was an important issue for the administration, and its policy rationale now exhibited elements of both idealism and realism.
This chapter is published as The American Century? In Retrospect and Prospect by Roberto Rabel. Copyright © 2002 by Robert Rabel. All rights reserved. Reproduced with permission of ABC-CLIO, LLC, Santa Barbara, CA.