Milosevic Unmoved as Clinton Threatens to Strike

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NATO may be making the preliminary moves for military action against President Slobodan Milosevic, but the Serb leader is unfazed. As Western observers were being pulled out of Kosovo Friday, President Clinton found himself scrambling to put a lid on a congressional mutiny against plans to bomb the Serbs. Even after a special briefing from the President on Friday, some Republican legislators did not hide their doubts. "Americans are going to be killed," said Utah Republican senator Robert Bennett. "And they will be killed in a war that Congress has not declared." The Senate will vote next week on legislation to curb funding for a Kosovo peacekeeping mission.

The ambush on Capitol Hill may be of the administration's own making. "The testimony of the military commanders on Thursday highlighted just how little long-term thinking has gone into this," says TIME Pentagon correspondent Mark Thompson. "They made clear that American lives would be put on the line in an operation that has no endgame -- what happens if air strikes can't bring Milosevic to the table?" Whether by design or because of confusion in NATO, Milosevic will be given a grace period to reconsider. But far from showing signs of buckling before the threat of air strikes, the Serb leader on Friday kept on pouring troops and equipment into Kosovo for a new offensive.