BELGRADE, Yugoslavia (AP) _ NATO Secretary-General Javier Solana ordered airstrikes against Yugoslavia on Tuesday, saying all efforts to achieve a negotiated settlement had failed. It was not known when the operations would begin.

``All efforts to achieve a negotiated, political solution to the Kosovo crisis having failed, no alternative is open but to take military action,'' Solana told reporters in Brussels, Belgium.

The decision came after a last ditch effort by special American envoy Richard Holbrooke, who conducted several hours of talks with Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic to no avail Monday night and Tuesday.

Holbrooke flew from Belgrade to Brussels to brief NATO allies on his failure to persuade Milosevic to halt military activity against ethnic Albanians in Kosovo and agree to a political agreement already signed by the Albanians.

``We deeply regret that these efforts did not succeed, due entirely to the intransigence of the (Yugoslav) government,'' Solana said. ``This military action is intended to support the political aims of the international community.''

Solana's orders directed Gen. Wesley Clark, Surpeme Allied Commander in Europe, to initiate action with the more than 400 allied aircraft and a half dozen missile carrying ships at sea.

Solana said the attacks would be directed at weakening the Serb army and special police forces and reducing their ability to cause humanitarian catastrophe.

More than 2,000 people have died and hundreds of thousands have been driven from their homes in nearly 13 months of conflict in Kosovo, the southern province of Serbia.

More than 90 percent of Kosovo's 2 million inhabitants are ethic Albanians, most of whom want independence.