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Keywords:

  • poliheuristic theory;
  • noncompensatory strategies;
  • Kosovo;
  • advisers;
  • Madeleine;
  • Albright;
  • foreign policy decision making

In the following paper, I analyze the influence of advisers and domestic political factors on President Clinton's decision to use force against Slobodan Milosevic and the Serbs in Kosovo in March 1999. I present an analysis and examination of President Clinton's decision-making process, using press reports, personal speeches, etc. In other words, I attempt to trace the process by which Clinton came to the decision to use force in Yugoslavia. Specifically, using the poliheuristic theory, I argue that President Clinton's decision was influenced by noncompensatory domestic political calculations and the strong influence of his Secretary of State, Madeleine K. Albright. Examining how advisers interact with one another, their status in the advisory group, and the manner in which presidents solicit information from advisers will further our understanding of how, when, and under what conditions national security-level decision makers make decisions.