Secretary of State Warren Christopher said Monday 17 nations have agreed to dispatch about 1,500 troops to assist American forces in the anticipated U.S.-led invasion of Haiti.
Christopher said the commitments demonstrate the resolve of the international community in restoring constitutional rule to Haiti. He added that additional commitments of personnel will be announced later. Until Monday, the only announcements on troop commitments had been made by small Caribbean nations.Speaking to reporters at the State Department, Christopher said the training required for these forces would not affect the timing of an invasion.
He said the troops are primarily military and police personnel who would participate only after American troops established a "secure environment."
On Sunday, Christopher acknowledged on NBC's "Meet the Press" that "the American people are reluctant to use U.S. forces to restore democracy in Haiti, and that support in Congress is thin." But he said "there's an important issue of credibility here."
He repeated his warning that the Haitian coup leaders' "days are numbered."
Sen. Minority Leader Bob Dole, R-Kan., said he assumed the invasion would come in the next two or three weeks and promised that he and other opponents in Congress will offer legislation challenging President Clinton's authority to send troops into Haiti.
And Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said that outside the Congressional Black Caucus, Congress is "strenuously opposed" to use of U.S. forces in Haiti.