AFTER AMERICAN envoy Richard Holbrooke negotiated the Kosovo ceasefire, some Europeans actually harrumphed that America hadn't kept them informed. Kosovo offers the Europeans the perfect opportunity to take the lead. All the more so since the US already has nearly 10,000 troops at risk in Bosnia, where we have no real national interest. As an ally, the US must be prepared to provide logistical and other assistance to the Europeans, but it is their people who ought to go into harm's way in Kosovo - if that is what the alliance decides to do.
NATO SHOULD demand that Milosevic immediately end his interference.But there's no chance he will comply if Nato continues rattling its sabre aimlessly. Compelling Milosevic to back down just when he's warming up is likely to take far more than verbal condemnation. It's time to extract from Milosevic something more than promises. If words don't do it, extract it with hardware that he understands.
EUROPEAN MEMBERS of Nato have made it clear that if US forces decline to join offensive action, they will too. This leaves little chance of resolving the Kosovo crisis any time soon. But to diminish it by diplomacy always will be worth an effort. It's a hard road to Milosevic's house, and one that should not be taken without prospects for an enduring compromise. Nato should holster its guns and press for a deal.
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