Serbs Reject Peacekeeping Force

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Never mind an exit strategy: At this rate the peacekeepers will have to fight their way into Kosovo. Despite three days of peace talks in Paris, Serbia Tuesday firmly rejected the idea of a NATO peacekeeping force. "This could simply be posturing," says TIME correspondent Douglas Waller. "NATO has already warned that the Serbs will be bombed if they refuse to accept an agreement for this reason -- peacekeeping forces are an integral part of the framework for the Paris talks."

The threat -- or reality -- of air strikes may not be the ideal basis for launching a peacekeeping mission that would need to win the confidence of both sides, but Bosnia provides a precedent for peace through bombing. However, the fact that there's no sign of U.S. troops' coming home from Bosnia three years after they first arrived has a lot of people in Washington worried. "Capitol Hill wants to see an endgame," says Waller. "President Clinton will find it hard to sell another open-ended mission." That skepticism may be precisely where the Serbs are directing their posturing.