Troop shortages, bureaucratic hassles and political posturing have bogged down the U.N. mission in Bosnia, the head of the peacekeeping forces there says.

Showing the same frustration that plagued his two predecessors, Lt. Gen. Francis Briquemont said the Bosnia operation raises questions about the future of such missions."There are a lot of lessons to learn," he said in an interview recently in his small office in the U.N. compound near Sarajevo's main hospital. As he spoke, a shell landed nearby, rattling the window.

Briquemont has been on the job since July 12, moving up from commander of Belgian troops. The United Nations rotates its command here among the chiefs of its multinational contingents.

Briquemont expects to be replaced early this coming year, citing the strains of acting as military commander and diplomat.

He questioned whether the leaders of Bosnia's three warring parties have the interests of their populations at heart.

"The leaders never speak about their own populations," Brique-mont said. "They speak of their war goals and their objectives. I think they like the power very much."

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But he also blamed the United Nations for its failure to achieve peace here, saying the Security Council has been too lofty in its goals and too sparing with resources.

"There is a fantastic gap between all these Security Council resolutions and the means available to execute them," he said. "All these resolutions cannot be executed in the field."

The general said he needs at least 10,000 fresh troops to carry out the resolutions, including one passed in April to establish "safe areas" around Muslim enclaves threatened by Bosnian Serb forces.

But instead of more troops, France and Britain have talked of pulling out in the spring if there is no peace agreement. Briquemont said the Spanish contingent is under similar pressure at home.

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