The problem for peacemakers is that neither warring party feels the urge to sue for peace. "It took a very long time and a terrible number of deaths before the warring parties in Bosnia realized that fighting was futile and compromise inevitable," says McGeary. "Unfortunately in Kosovo, both sides are showing no inclination toward heading off a similar tragedy." So, despite all the diplomatic effort that went into Rambouillet, the Kosovo peace process may be headed back to square one.
More Kosovo peace talks are scheduled for mid-March, but by then the war could be back in full swing. Three days after the Rambouillet peace conference dissolved in disarray, Serb and KLA forces tangled in fierce clashes, and a heavy buildup of Serb troops Friday signaled that President Milosevic intends to launch a new offensive. "This leaves the U.S. and NATO in a jam," says TIME senior foreign correspondent Johanna McGeary. "They're desperate to keep a process going that neither of the warring parties really likes, and there's a good chance the whole thing could unravel." That would likely mean more of the massacres that prompted NATO to get involved.