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Listening Back to Diplomat Richard Holbrooke, 1941-2010

Richard Holbrooke at a press conference, Oct. 27, 2010, in Kabul, Afghanistan. (AP)
Richard Holbrooke at a press conference, Oct. 27, 2010, in Kabul, Afghanistan. (AP)

U.S. diplomat Richard Holbrooke, who died Monday, was a champion of using America's military and diplomatic muscle to help solve world crises. For decades, he was an important operator in foreign policy circles, serving most recently as the Obama administration's point man on Afghanistan and Pakistan.

In 2004, Richard Holbrooke spoke with Tom Ashbrook about shifting U.S. military commitments around the world. He defended the idea of having a robust American presence from Europe to Asia, saying U.S. military bases in places such as Germany and South Korea remain "vital." Here's a bit of that interview:

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Holbrooke made his mark early on in Vietnam; he eventually went on to become U.S. ambassador to the U.N., ambassador to Germany, and a high-level State Department official. In 1995, he helped negotiate an end to the war in Bosnia -- perhaps his greatest career accomplishment. The New Yorker's George Packer profiled him last year, examining the arc of his career and the evolution of his philosophy, from Vietnam to Afghanistan.

Holbrooke told Packer,

I still believe in the possibility of the United States, with all its will and all its strength, and I don’t just mean military, persevering against any challenge. I still believe in that.

This program aired on December 14, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.

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