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Clinton’s pick to lead NATO aided Bosnia peace accord

SHARE Clinton’s pick to lead NATO aided Bosnia peace accord

Gen. Wesley K. Clark, head of the U.S. Southern Command who oversees military operations in Central and South America, is President Clinton's choice for NATO commander and head of U.S. forces in Europe.

An administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the announcement was expected as early as Monday. White House press secretary Mike McCurry said he "had no reason to dispute" a Washington Post story reporting Clinton's choice.The appointment comes at a critical time: NATO plans to begin expansion in July despite the objections of Russia.

Clark, 52, was the senior military member of the team that brokered the 1995 Dayton peace accords that stopped fighting in Bosnia. He is a West Point graduate and former Rhodes scholar who won Silver and Bronze stars in Vietnam.

Defense Secretary William Cohen recommended him for the job.

Like the president, Clark grew up in Arkansas and attended England's Oxford University. But he and Clinton are not considered longtime associates.