Warren Christopher: Defending His Boss

Secretary of State Warren Christopher was interviewed last Friday by Washington bureau chief Dan Goodgame and correspondent J.F.O. McAllister. Excerpts:

Q. Does Somalia prove Colin Powell's doctrine that American military power, if used, should be used with overwhelming force?

A. The concept is most applicable when our vital national interests are involved, rather than a situation such as this, where President Bush decided to go into Somalia for humanitarian reasons only. When U.S. troops are involved absent a vital national interest, then some hard questions have to be asked, including, Will our forces be fully protected? But I wouldn't say that...

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