Richard Holbrooke, who presided over the accord that ended the Bosnian war fifteen years ago and was U.S. special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, died on Monday after undergoing surgery to repair a ruptured aorta. Recalled as a distinguished U.S. foreign policy advocate (NYT), Holbrooke was respected for his ability to troubleshoot complex negotiations and served every Democratic president since the late 1960s.
Holbrooke's death could have a significant impact (WashPost) on the Obama administration's efforts in Afghanistan and Pakistan, coming just ahead of the release of the strategic review on Afghanistan. The State Department announced just prior to his death that his position would be filled temporarily by his deputy (LAT), Frank Ruggiero.
Amid sometimes difficult relations with Afghan leaders, Holbrooke was recalled as pressing ahead for a political settlement (BBC), believing this might mean some level of agreement with the Taliban to divorce them from al-Qaeda.
Foreign Affairs offers a review of Holbrooke's essays for the magazine over the years.
In his last interview with CFR.org, Holbrooke examined the international response to Pakistan's flood disaster and the Obama administration's efforts to call for increased assistance.
In this feature, Foreign Policy looks at some of Holbrooke's diplomatic contributions.
In the Daily Beast, Peter Beinart looks at Holbrooke's special blend of superpower swagger and moral passion.