Holbrooke's Mission Fails

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BELGRADE: Richard Holbrooke wasn't carrying a big enough stick. That's why he came back empty-handed from Kosovo this week: Slobodan Milosevic, the Serbian president, is emboldened by NATO's hesitance to conduct air strikes. "Holbrooke's mission failed because Milosevic didn't feel enough pressure," says TIME Central Europe bureau chief Massimo Calabresi. "NATO's political will is visibly weakening. Greece and Macedonia have come out against military action, and France is insisting on taking the matter before the U.N. That, together with Russia's support, has taken the heat off Milosevic."

Fighting in Kosovo intensified this week even as the U.S. envoy shuttled back and forth between the warring parties. Holbrooke left the region warning that NATO is stepping up preparations for those air strikes on the Serbs. For now, at least, Milosevic appears content to call his bluff.