Marines Prepare for Kosovo Mission

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From the halls of Montezuma to the hills of Kosovo... While Madeleine Albright bullies the Serbs into signing a peace deal, 2,200 Marines wait in the Mediterranean to go in and enforce it. "There's unlikely to be an agreement at the Paris talks before the final deadline at the end of the week," says TIME Central Europe bureau chief Massimo Calabresi. And it will take the threat of NATO military action, repeated by Albright Sunday, to get the recalcitrant Serbs to sign.

Special Report But even as they prepare to land the first troops within a day of the deal, Pentagon commanders have doubts about the mission. "There's a lot of concern about getting caught between troublemakers on both sides," says TIME Pentagon correspondent Mark Thompson. "While Bosnia was a war between two clearly defined armies, there may be a lot more 'freelancers' in Kosovo -- and that could be disastrous for any peacekeeping force." Bosnia notwithstanding, the Balkans aren't known for their hospitality to foreign armies.