Posted by: mydarkestplaces | December 19, 2010

Richard Holbrooke

Admittedly, I don’t know much about current events. I read enough headlines, and almost enough periodicals to call myself passably informed, but when it comes to the major players in national politics I don’t know as much as I once did.

That being said, I did know that Richard Holbrooke, the Special Envoy to Iraq and Afghanistan, passed away the other day (I read the headlines).

To me, the name “Richard Holbrooke” didn’t evoke much when it was announced that he was the Special Envoy. After reading this article from the New York Times, I’m starting to regret this gap in my knowledge, and mourning the gap in my education concerning American diplomacy.

Unless you take a high level university government or history course, chances are you also don’t know much about American diplomacy. So much time and energy is spent on military victories and losses – the Boston Tea Party, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the Tet Offensive, and many more – but almost no time is spent on the diplomacy that is far more likely responsible for the overarching changes that happen in our foreign policy.

Richard Holbrooke was the driving force behind the Serbian cease fire in the mid-90s. I had never heard his name before 2009. All this makes me wonder is how many more unsung diplomatic heroes are there out there? Those men and women who fight our military battles are undoubtedly heroes. But we shouldn’t forget about those men and women who broker the agreements who bring those soldiers home.

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