Foreign Policy Blogs

Holbrooke: 'A long and difficult Struggle'


Holbrooke in Afghanistan in 2006

Newly appointed Afghanistan/Pakistan US ‘representative’, which gives him a bit more power than an ‘envoy’, stated during a Munich security conference that the war in Afghanistan will be a ‘long and difficult struggle,’ one which is 'tougher than Iraq.’  Not exactly breaking news, but it's important to know where Mr. Holbrooke stands and how he sees the conflict. He also stated that there would be ‘no Dayton Accords,’ a reference to his work in the 1990's on the Balkan crisis.

Holbrooke is an intriguing fellow and has had a close relationship with Secretary State Hilary Clinton for some years. Here is a NY Times profile of the jetsetting diplomat and a Clinton press conference discussing his role in what Obama is calling once again the central part of the US war against terrorism.

Holbrooke has already embarked on a ‘listening tour’ of the region where he met with several Paki and Afghani government and military officials, but I have not heard what his next moves will be. I imagine he will be involved in any strategy involving negotiating with the Taliban and in soothing Paki-US relations when Pakistan's sovereign territory may be ‘compromised’ by US military forces. I also imagine Holbrooke will be utilized to garner more troops, resources, and action from NATO's European members as he is well-respected by most in the continent.

(Photo Source: New York Times)



Patrick Frost

Patrick Frost recently graduated from New York University's Masters Program in Political Science - International Relations. His MA thesis analyzed the capabilities and objectives of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Central Asia and beyond and explored how these affected U.S. interests and policy.

Areas of Focus:
Eurasia, American Foreign Policy, Ideology, SCO