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Clinton May Have to Call Reservists for Haiti Invasion

By Ann Devroy and John M. Goshko
The Washington Post

President Clinton may have to call "several hundred" military reservists to active duty to take part in the anticipated invasion of Haiti, senior U.S. officials said Monday, amid planning that included a "walkthrough" exercise by top aides of the proposed military action.

As military plans went forward, Clinton's national security adviser Anthony Lake made the case for use of U.S. power in Haiti by saying that the nation's "essential reliability" was at stake. "Having exhausted all other remedies, we must make it clear that we mean what we say" about removing Haiti's military leaders, Lake said in a speech last night to the Council on Foreign Relations.

In related developments, the administration has begun intensive consultations on Haiti with key leaders on Capitol Hill, aimed at heading off growing restiveness about the wisdom of an invasion, officials said. Secretary of State Warren Christopher announced that 17 countries, including Israel and three West European nations, have agreed to contribute a total of at least 1,500 troops and police personnel to help a U.S.-led invasion force after it has secured control of Haiti.

And the aircraft carrier USS America will sail later this week to Haitian waters, Defense officials said. It will be the second carrier slated for Haitian duty, joining the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Clinton has been given several options for activating military reserves for Haitian duty but has not decided among them, a senior official said. A callup would be necessary because restructuring of the armed forces has caused reservist functions in such areas as logistics and support to be integrated closely with the operations of active-duty units.

The roles played by reservists and other elements of a projected 20,000-member invasion force were part of an "inter-agency walkthrough" of planning for the invasion and its aftermath conducted Sunday at Fort McNair in Washington. It involved going through a day-by-day scenario of detailed actions that would be taken leading up to a military intervention in the Caribbean island nation and for several weeks afterward.

Participants in the walkthrough included Deputy National Security Adviser Samuel Berger; Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott and four others from the State Department; senior contingents from the Pentagon and Joint Chiefs of Staff; senior officials from the Justice Department and several other agencies, according to officials.

The "D-day plus or minus" exercise covered both goals set for the invasion force and such post-invasion tasks as maintaining public order and safety, delivering food and medical aid to the Haitian people, and preparing the way for the return of deposed civilian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

Christopher's announcement of contributions of troops by other countries was intended to demonstrate that Clinton's determination to restore democracy to Haiti has broad international support. The identities of most of the 17 nations that pledged to help were known before Monday.

The U.N. Security Council resolution authorizing "all necessary means" to oust Haiti's military dictatorship calls for two separate phases of military invasion: an initial group that would enter Haiti, either by force or with the passive acquiesence of Haiti's military, to secure control of the country; and then a peace-keeping force under U.N. supervision that would replace the invasion troops.

Christopher said that the 17 countries all would be part of the first phase. But he acknowledged that most of them, and perhaps all, would not join the operation until the invasion troops, which are expected to be overwhelmingly from the United States, "have created a secure environment."