All eyes are on Marc Grossman, newly appointed successor to Richard Holbrooke as special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan. To get better acquainted with the indefatigable diplomat, take a look at the AI interview in which he discusses his work in the Balkans, the ramifications of Kosovar independence, and the role of diplomacy in foreign policy. How will he respond to the daunting array of challenges ahead, particularly in the face of mounting calls for steep cuts to foreign aid? Note his own words:
Finally, in terms of our own government, this is a question of resources, and a question of our capacity to call on all parts of government to work as a team. We need to conceive of American statecraft as a unified endeavor. As Americans, we have to get over the idea that diplomacy is somehow about concessions and weakness, and that military power automatically produces positive political outcomes. Diplomacy, especially in the case of reconstruction efforts in post-conflict areas, is a national security tool for the United States that has to be adequately supplied and supported, no less than do military efforts.
Bruce Riedel offers a sobering assessment of Grossman’s new job description here.