Afghan Journal

Lifting the veil on conflict, culture and politics

from Tales from the Trail:

Holbrooke: No “dysfunction” on U.S. Afghan Team

 Barack Obama's team running the Afghan war has its issues -- but is it dysfunctional? No, sir, according to Richard Holbrooke.

" I have worked in every Democratic administration since the Kennedy administration, and I know dysfunctionality when I see it," Holbrooke, the administration's special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, told the PBS NewsHour program.

" There are always personal differences and ambitions, but this is just not true. It's not a dysfunctional relationship."

Holbrooke's interview with anchor Gwen Ifill came after a rough couple of weeks for Washington's Afghan policy planners. Obama sacked his top commander in the region, General Stanley McChrystal, after the bombshell Rolling Stone article which included disparaging comments from McChrystal's team about civilian directors of the war effort -- Holbrooke included.  And McChrystal's replacement, General David Petraeus, took over with a warning that there would be no swift turnaround after nine years of war.

from Tales from the Trail:

Is Holbrooke’s “bulldozer” style working?

Dubbed the "bulldozer" for his tough guy tactics in Balkan negotiations, U.S. Ambassador Richard Holbrooke has been making waves in South Asia recently.

holbrookeU.S. embassies in New Delhi and Kabul have been scrambling over the past week to deal with local fallout from statements made by Washington's special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan.