Zitate von Richard Holbrooke

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Richard Holbrooke

Geburtstag: 24. April 1941
Todesdatum: 13. Dezember 2010

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Richard Charles Albert Holbrooke war ein US-amerikanischer Spitzendiplomat, Geschäftsmann, Publizist und Zeitungsverleger.

International bekannt wurde er als US-Sondergesandter für den Balkan in den 1990er Jahren. Er gilt als „Architekt“ des Dayton-Abkommens, mit dem der Bosnienkrieg beigelegt wurde. Von 2009 bis zu seinem Tod war er US-Sondergesandter für Afghanistan und Pakistan.

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Zitate Richard Holbrooke

„The controlled chaos is one way to get creativity. The intensity of it, the physical rush, the intimacy created the kind of dialogue that leads to synergy“

—  Richard Holbrooke
Context: The controlled chaos is one way to get creativity. The intensity of it, the physical rush, the intimacy created the kind of dialogue that leads to synergy … The U. N. by contrast is sterile, overly concerned with protocol, overly formal, filled with set-piece speeches. This is what the U. N. in theory is supposed to be but can't. On the strategies of the Clinton Global Initiative conference, as quoted in "Clinton global aid meeting gathers $1.25 bln" in The (Malaysian) Star (18 September 2005) http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2005/9/18/worldupdates/2005-09-18T070527Z_01_NOOTR_RTRJONC_0_-216516-1&sec=Worldupdates

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„Our meeting with Admiral Leighton Smith, on the other hand, did not go well. He had been in charge of the NATO air strikes in August and September [1995], and this gave him enormous credibility, especially with the Bosnian Serbs. Smith was also the beneficiary of a skillful public relations effort that cast him as the savior of Bosnia. In a long profile, Newsweek had called him "a complex warrior and civilizer, a latter-day George C. Marshall." This was quite a journalistic stretch, given the fact that Smith considered the civilian aspects of the task beneath him and not his job - quite the opposite of what General Marshall stood for.
After a distinguished thirty-three-year Navy career, including almost three hundred combat missions in Vietnam, Smith was well qualified for his original post as commander of NATO's southern forces and Commander in Chief of all U. S. naval forces in Europe. But he was the wrong man for his additional assignment as IFOR commander, which was the result of two bureaucratic compromises, one with the French, the other with the American military. General Joulwan rightly wanted the sixty thousand IFOR soldiers to have as their commanding officer an Army general trained in the use of ground forces. But Paris insisted that if Joulwan named a separate Bosnia commander, it would have to be a Frenchman. This was politically impossible for the United States; thus, the Franh objections left only one way to preserve an American chain of command - to give the job to Admiral Smith, who joked that he was now known as "General" Smith. (...)
On the military goals of Dayton, he was fine; his plans for separating the forces along the line we had drawn in Dayton and protecting his forces were first-rate. But he was hostile to any suggestions that IFOR help implement any nonmilitary portion of the agreement. This, he said repeatedly, was not his job.
Based on Shalikashvili's statement at White House meetings, Christopher and I had assumed that the IFOR commander would use his authority to do substancially more than he was obligated to do. The meeting with Smith shattered that hope. Smith and his British deputy, General Michael Walker, made clear that they intended to take a minimalist approach to all aspects of implementation other than force protection. Smith signaled this in his first extensive public statement to the Bosnian people, during a live call-in program on Pale Television - an odd choice for his first local media appearance. During the program, he answered a question in a manner that dangerously narrowed his own authority. He later told Newsweek about it with a curious pride: "One of the questions I was asked was, "Admiral, is it true that IFOR is going to arrest Serbs in the Serb suburbs of Sarajevo?" I said, "Absolutely not, I don't have the authority to arrest anybody"."
This was an inaccurate way to describe IFOR's mandate. It was true IFOR was not supposed to make routine arrests of ordinary citizens. But IFOR had the authority to arrest indicted war criminals, and could also detain anyone who posed a threat to its forces. Knowing what the question meant, Smith had sent an unfortunate signal of reassurance to Karadzic - over his own network.“

—  Richard Holbrooke
p.327-329

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„Months later, Roger Cohen would write in The New York Time that preventing an attack on Banja Luka was "an acto of consummate Realpolitik" on our part, since letting the Federation [of Bosnia-Herzegovina] take the city would have "derailed" the peace process. Cohen, one of the most knowledgeable journalists to cover the was, misunderstood our motives in opposing an attack on Banja Luka. A true practitioner of Realpolitik would have encouraged the attack regardless of its human consequences. In fact, humanitarian concerns decided the case for me. Given the harsh behavior of Federation troops during the offensive, it seemed certain that the fall of Banja Luka would lead to forced evictions and random murders. I did not think the United States should contribute to the creation of new refugees and more human suffering in order to take a city that would have to be returned later. Revenge might be a central part of the ethos of the Balkans, but American policy could not be party of it. Our responsibility was to implement the American national interest, as best as we could determine it. But I am no longer certain we were right to oppose an attack on Banja Luka. Had we known then that the Bosnian Serbs would have been able to defy or ignore so many of the key political provisions of the peace agreement in 1996 and 1997, the negotiating team might not have opposed such an attack. However, even with American encouragement, it is by no means certain that an attack would have taken palce - or, if it had, that it would have been successful. Tuđman would have had to carry the burden of the attack, and the Serb lines were already stiffening. The Croatian Army had just taken heavy casualties on the Sarva. Furthermore, if it fell, Banja Luka would either have gone to the Muslims or been returned later to the Serbs, thus making it of dubious value to Tuđman. There was another intriguing factor in the equation - one of the few things that Milošević and Izetbegović had agreed on. Banja Luka, they both said, was the center of moderate, anti-Pale sentiment within the Bosnian Serb community, and should be built up in importance as a center of opposition to Pale. Izetbegovic himself was ambivalent about taking the city, and feared that if it fell, it would only add to Croat-Bosnian tensions.“

—  Richard Holbrooke
p. 166-167

„Dayton shook the leadership elite of post-Cold War Europe. The Europeans were grateful to the United States for the leading the effort that finally ended the war in Bosnia, but some European officials were embarassed that American involvement had been necessary. Jacque Poos's 1991 assertion that Europe's "hour had dawned" lay in history's dustbin, alongside James Baker's view that we had no dog in that fight. "One cannot call it an American peace", French Foreign Minister de Charette told the press, "even if President Clinton and the Americans have tried to pull the blanket over to their side. The fact is that the Americans looked at this affair in ex-Yugoslavia from a great distance for nearly four years and basically blocked the progression of things." But de Charette also acknowledged that "Europe as such was not present, and this, it is true, was a failure of the European Union." Prime Minister Alain Juppé, after praising the Dayton agreement, could not resist adding, "Of course, it resembles like a twin the European plan we presented eighteen months ago" - when he was Foreign Minister. Agence France-Presse reported that many European diplomats were "left smarting" at Dayton. In an article clearly inspired by someone at the French Foreign Ministry, Le Figaro said that "Richard Holbrooke, the American mediator, did not leave his European collegues with good memories from the air base at Dayton." They quoted an unnamed Franch diplomat as saying, "He flatters, he lies, he humiliates: he is a sort of brutal and schizophrenic Mazarin." President Chirac's national security assistant, Jean-David Levitte, called to apologize for this comment, saying it did not represent the views of his boss. I replied that such minidramas were inevitable given the pressures and frustrations we faced at Dayton and were inconsequential considering that the war was over.“

—  Richard Holbrooke
p. 318

„Shattuck and I were particularly concerned with the activities of Zeljko Raznatovic, popularly known as Arkan, one of the most notorious men in the Balkans. Even in former Yugoslavia, Arkan was something special, a freelance murderer who roamed across Bosnia and eastern Slavonia with his black-shirted men, terrorizing Muslims and Croats. To the rest of the world Arkan was a racist fanatic run amok, but many Serbs regarded him as a hero. His private army, the Tigers, had committed some of the war's worst atrocities, carrying out summary executions and virtually inventing ethnic cleansing in 1991-92. Western intelligence was convinced he worked, or had worked, for the Yugoslav secret police. (...) Althought the [Hague ICTY] Tribunal had handed down over fifty indictment by October 1995, these did not include Arkan. I pressed Goldstone [Richard Goldstone, ICTY president] on this matter several times, but because a strict wall separated the tribunal's internal deliberations from the American government, he wouold not tell us why Arkan had not been indicted. This was expecially puzzling given Goldstone's stature and his public criticisms of the international peacekeeping forces for not arresting any of the indicted war criminals. Whenever I mentioned Arkan's name to Milosevic, he seemed annoyed. He did not mind criticism of Karadzic or Mladic, but Arkan - who lived in Belgrade, ran a popular restaurant, and was married to a rock star - was a different matter. Milosevic dismissed Arkan as a "peanut issue", and claimed he had no influence over him. But Arkan's activities in western Bosnia decreased immediately after my complaints. This was hardly a victory, however, because Arkan at large remained a dangerous force and a powerful signal that one could still get away with murder - literally - in Bosnia.“

—  Richard Holbrooke
pp. 189-190

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