"He's being investigated for 'gray area' violations such as staying at the ambassador's house when he was on a business trip," says Dowell. "There could be people -- particularly in the State Department, which has been under intense criticism for the apparent lack of direction in U.S. foreign policy -- with an interest in seeing that Holbrooke doesn't get that position. Because he may be too good at his job."
Slobodan Milosevic may look like a pushover compared with some of Richard Holbrooke's Washington adversaries. A New York Times report Thursday that the administration's U.N. ambassador-nominee faces new charges of ethics violations concerning business contacts with the U.S. embassy in South Korea could signal "a behind-the-scenes power struggle," says TIME U.N. correspondent William Dowell. The Times report follows an earlier Washington Post report suggesting that the ethics inquiry into Holbrooke's ties with U.S. officials while working for Credit Suisse First Boston was on the verge of clearing the highly regarded diplomat for nomination.