Richard C. Holbrooke · State Department

Richard Holbrooke dies: Veteran U.S. diplomat brokered Dayton peace accords

Richard Holbrooke
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Sad news for the State Department and for his family…

Washington Post

Veteran U.S. diplomat Richard C. Holbrooke, 69, whose relentless prodding and deft maneuvering yielded the 1995 Dayton peace accords that ended the war in the Balkans, a feat he hoped to emulate as President Obama’s chief envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, died Monday in Washington from complications following surgery to repair a torn aorta.

A foreign policy adviser to four Democratic presidents, Mr. Holbrooke was a towering, one-of-a-kind presence who helped define American national security strategy over 40 years and three wars by connecting Washington politicians with New York elites and influential figures in capitals around the world. He seemed to live on airplanes and move with equal confidence through Upper East Side cocktail parties, the halls of the White House and the slums of Pakistan.

News of Mr. Holbrooke’s death came after Obama, speaking at a State Department holiday reception, praised him as “simply one of the giants of American foreign policy.”

“Tonight America has lost one of its fiercest champions and most dedicated public servants,” Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said in a statement Monday night, adding, “He was one of a kind – a true statesman – and that makes his passing all the more painful.”

Mr. Holbrooke’s death could have a profound impact on the administration’s efforts to implement aspects of its strategy for the war in Afghanistan, which relies not just on military gains but development assistance and diplomatic initiatives with the governments in Kabul and neighboring Pakistan that had been his principal focus.        More…