Mission Impossible

An inside look at how Richard Holbrooke tries to halt the ethnic bloodshed in Kosovo

Richard Holbrooke has become Washington's favorite last-ditch diplomat. The newly nominated ambassador to the U.N. doesn't balk at hopeless missions, but he doesn't always succeed either. Three years ago, he waded into the intractable war in Bosnia and crafted a cease-fire that has lasted to this day. In 1997, as President Clinton's special envoy, he stepped into the 24-year-old struggle between Greece and Turkey over Cyprus and has so far achieved no major breakthrough. Last week he gamely turned his hand to the Yugoslav province of Kosovo, the site of a festering rebellion between 1.8 million ethnic Albanians and their Serb...

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