The Smartest Man In the Room

I've been a Holbrooke skeptic for years, unimpressed with his public responses to Bosnia-Herzegovina's persistent failure to thrive. He faced years of criticism for the General Framework Agreement for Peace, an imperfect document that may have been the least bad of several possible outcomes of Yugoslavia's disintegration. The GFAP, more colloquially known by the name … Continue reading The Smartest Man In the Room

Ghosts of Vietnam

George Packer's profile of Richard Holbrooke, Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, provides some interesting material to chew on. Packer's two main themes are Holbrooke's force of character - he has a large ego and big personality, and overwhelms everything he does with sheer will and determination - and the lessons of Vietnam. Interestingly, Vietnam … Continue reading Ghosts of Vietnam

Omnivore 29/09/09

Al Qaeda's New Charm Offensive in Europe, Bruce Riedel, Up Front/Brookings Institution An Absolutely Horrifying Interview, Bernard Finel, The Last Mission, George Packer, New Yorker Andrew Bacevich and the Cold War Analogy, Peter Feaver, Shadow Government/Foreign Policy On Hizballah's Strategy, Andrew Exum, Abu Muqawama The Wrong Question, Caroline Wadhams, AfPak Channel/Foreign Policy