AT THE EDGE OF PEACE

WITH A NUDGE HERE, A SHOVE THERE, THE BALKANS MOVE TANTALIZINGLY CLOSER TO EMBRACING A DEAL

At 9 a.m. last Thursday, Richard Holbrooke strode into the seventh-floor study that U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher favors for informal staff meetings. Like his boss, Holbrooke was in shirt sleeves. But unlike the dapper Christopher, the chief U.S. negotiator on Bosnia looked rumpled and exhausted. More than five weeks of shuttle diplomacy in a bid to bring peace to the Balkans had sapped him of the nervous energy that usually suffuses his ample frame. But if the sparks were not exactly flying off Holbrooke, the news he brought to Washington was electrifying enough. As a clutch of State Department...

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