Despite the heat they've taken overBosnia, NATO countries today moved to strengthen their mandate by broadening the organization's importance and scope and put the Bosnian tragedy into the political history books. NATO foreign ministers approved a U.S. proposal to study expanding the alliance to include central and east European countries. Today Secretary of State Warren Christopher placed the blame for Bosnia on the United Nations. "NATO has done very well in what it was asked to do," he said. And NATO Secretary-General Willy Claes said that in the future, NATO "will look very carefully . . . to the roles of the game, before saying once again yes" to bringing in troops. This PR effort comes days after the U.S. reversed itself on Bosnia -- moving from being harshly critical of Europe's diplomatic efforts to suddenly becoming supportive. SaysTIME Brussels bureau chief Jay Branegan: "What it comes down to is that they made a choice: It was saving the Bosnian Muslims versus saving NATO, and the U.S. decided to save NATO . . . They decided that Bosnia is not going to sink an alliance that has stuck for 40 years."