Richard Holbrooke RIP: American Foreign Policy Greatly Diminished


richard holbrooke steve clemons kati marton heather podesta tony podesta.jpg
(photo credit: Kyle Samperton)
Richard Holbrooke is gone. This is not the time for cliches.
But I can’t imagine results-achieving American diplomacy without him. I will personally miss him so much — and am deeply saddened by his passing.
Condolences to Kati Marton, his amazing wife; and to all of his current team — and his many former staff who will carry on his ideas and work for years.
More later.
— Steve Clemons


8 comments on “Richard Holbrooke RIP: American Foreign Policy Greatly Diminished

  1. observer says:

    Posted by Erik, Dec 14 2010, 8:05AM – Link
    Yes, I agree with you.
    Mr. Holbrooke, the Giant Hatchetman of US, was the man given the task of removing Yugoslavia, which would have held out like a lump in the throat of NATO.
    For without the destruction of Yugoslavia, Russia could not have been kicked out of her Slavic backyard – securing the Adriatic as the a NATO lake.
    Yes, indeed: Is “American foreign policy diminished”? The world can only hope.


  2. Erik says:

    Perhaps more than any other American, Holbrooke contributed to the genocide in East Timor. Holbrooke accelerated the illegal sales of weapons to Suharto during the height of the genocide in the late 1970s.
    Is “American foreign policy diminished”? The world can only hope.


  3. Larry Martin says:

    It is reported by the AP that Ambassador Holbrooke’s final words
    were “You’ve got to stop this war in Afghanistan.” (h/t HuffPo)
    It is reported by Leslie Gelb that President Obama will announce
    later this week that the war will continue indefinitely. (h/t The Daily
    Richard Holbrooke will be sorely missed, for his sanity, and his
    courage, as much as for his effective diplomacy.


  4. Taylor Marsh says:

    Our country has lost a tireless champion for peace, but I know this must hit you, Steve, so personally.
    I’m very grateful to you and New America Foundation for providing the forum through which I met and chatted with Richard Holbrooke back in 2009.
    We have lost someone of towering diplomatic appetite that simply cannot be replaced.


  5. Colin Mac says:

    Sincere condolences for the passing of a truly great man. Simply one of a kind.


  6. nadine says:

    Richard Holbrooke, RIP. He was one of the best.


  7. WigWag says:

    Regardless of what one thought of his politics, no one can question that Holbrooke was a giant. In a certain way, he was the last of his kind; is there a living American diplomat who can compare with Holbrooke in terms of their knowledge of history and force of personality? I suppose, Henry Kissinger (for whom a young Holbrooke once worked) comes to mind but the release of more Nixon tapes over the past few days only serves to further sully Kissinger’s reputation.
    Holbrooke reminds me of Dean Acheson and John Foster Dulles although, unlike them, he never became Secretary of State. He also puts me in mind of another diplomatic genius who never became Secretary of State, George Kennan.
    I doubt that Holbrooke and Kennan saw eye to eye on much (especially the lessons of the Viet Nam war), but like Kennan, Holbrooke was blocked from reaching the pinnacle of his profession, the job of Secretary of State.
    America still has some great, if under- appreciated diplomats (Zalmay Khalilzad comes to mind), but I don’t see anyone out there who even comes close to Richard Holbrooke.
    He will be missed.


  8. Torsten Krauel says:

    Very sad news indeed. He might have missed his goals in
    AfPak, due to Washington infighting. But he will be dearly
    remembered for having brokered a Balkan agreement without
    which Europe would perhaps have turned into a huge
    Lebanon, with many ghosts of the past raising their heads
    again. R.I.P., Richard Holbrooke, in the grace of god


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