Richard Holbrooke

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La apertura de Estados Unidos a China por parte de Richard Nixon y Henry Kissinger en 1971-72 fue un hito histórico. Menos famoso, pero igual de importante, fue el siguiente paso: el dado por Jimmy Carter hace exactamente 30 años al establecer relaciones diplomáticas plenas entre China y Estados Unidos. Sin esta acción, anunciada el 15 de diciembre de 1978, las relaciones entre China y Estados Unidos no habrían pasado de ser una conexión pequeña y de alto nivel con un plan de acción limitado.

Cuando dejaron sus cargos en 1977, el presidente Gerald Ford y Kissinger dejaron tras ellos una relación incompleta y, por ende, inestable con China.…  Seguir leyendo »

The opening with China by Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger in 1971-72 is justly remembered as a historic breakthrough. Less famous but of equal importance was the next major step: the establishment of full diplomatic relations between China and the United States. Without this action, announced by President Jimmy Carter on Dec. 15, 1978, the relationship could not have moved beyond a small, high-level connection with a very limited agenda.

When they left office in 1977, President Gerald Ford and Kissinger left behind an important but incomplete, and unstable, relationship with China. The United States still recognized the government on Taiwan, which called itself (then as now) the Republic of China, as the legitimate and sole government of all of China.…  Seguir leyendo »

The opening with China by Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger in 1971-72 is justly remembered as a historic breakthrough. Less famous but of equal importance was the next major step: the establishment of full diplomatic relations between China and the United States. Without this action, announced by President Jimmy Carter on Dec. 15, 1978, the relationship could not have moved beyond a small, high-level connection with a very limited agenda.

When they left office in 1977, President Gerald Ford and Kissinger left behind an important but incomplete, and unstable, relationship with China. The United States still recognized the government on Taiwan, which called itself (then as now) the Republic of China, as the legitimate and sole government of all of China.…  Seguir leyendo »

El vencedor de la elección presidencial estadounidense de hoy heredará una tormenta perfecta de problemas, tanto económicos como internacionales. Tendrá que afrontar el inicio de mandato más difícil desde -y lo digo con toda seriedad- el hombre que salvó la Unión, Abraham Lincoln. Aunque quizá sea más instructivo el precedente de 1933, cuando Franklin D. Roosevelt supo ofrecer una retórica llena de inspiración y una voluntad de "experimentos audaces" a un país que se enfrentaba a la quiebra económica y el derrumbe de la confianza de la población.

Para mí, la elección es sencilla, y no sólo porque soy, por temperamento y por historia, demócrata.…  Seguir leyendo »

Almost exactly 13 years ago, American leadership brought an end to Bosnia's three-and-a-half-year war through the Dayton peace agreement. Today the country is in real danger of collapse. As in 1995, resolve and transatlantic unity are needed if we are not to sleepwalk into another crisis.

Bosnian Serb Prime Minister Milorad Dodik, once the darling of the international community (and especially Washington) for his opposition to the nationalist Serb Democratic party, has adopted that party's agenda without being tainted by their genocidal baggage. His long-term policy seems clear: to place his Serb entity, Republika Srpska, in a position to secede if the opportunity arises.…  Seguir leyendo »

Given the tremendous damage Russia inflicted on Georgia, it is easy to conclude that Moscow has achieved its objectives. But so far Moscow has failed in its real goal -- getting rid of Mikheil Saakashvili, Georgia's pro-democracy, pro-American president. To be sure, Russia has tightened its control of the separatist enclaves of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. It shattered the Georgian military, grievously damaged Georgia's economy and stirred up discord within the Western alliance. For three years, it has tried every conceivable tactic to bring him down -- fomenting a domestic uprising, imposing an economic blockade, beefing up its forces in the enclaves and finally a war.…  Seguir leyendo »

En los últimos tiempos, hemos afirmado que Rusia estaba llevando a cabo una política de cambiar el régimen de Georgia y a su presidente prooccidental y democráticamente elegido, Mijaíl Saakashvili. Predijimos que, a falta de una intervención diplomática fuerte y unida de Occidente, se avecinaba una guerra. Ahora, trágicamente, la escalada de la violencia en Osetia del Sur ha culminado en una invasión declarada de Georgia por parte de Rusia. Occidente, especialmente Estados Unidos, podría haber prevenido esta guerra.

No está claro del todo qué ocurrió en Osetia del Sur la semana pasada. Cada bando contará su propia versión. Pero sí sabemos, sin ninguna duda, que Georgia reaccionó ante las repetidas provocaciones de los separatistas de Osetia, controlados y financiados por el Kremlin.…  Seguir leyendo »

In weeks and years past, each of us has argued on this page that Moscow was pursuing a policy of regime change toward Georgia and its pro-Western, democratically elected president, Mikheil Saakashvili. We predicted that, absent strong and unified Western diplomatic involvement, we were headed toward a war. Now, tragically, an escalation of violence in South Ossetia has culminated in a full-scale Russian invasion of Georgia. The West, and especially the United States, could have prevented this war. We have arrived at a watershed moment in the West's post-Cold War relations with Russia.

Exactly what happened in South Ossetia last week is unclear.…  Seguir leyendo »

Here's a concept you've probably never heard of: "viral sovereignty." This extremely dangerous idea comes to us courtesy of Indonesia's minister of health, Siti Fadilah Supari, who asserts that deadly viruses are the sovereign property of individual nations -- even though they cross borders and could pose a pandemic threat to all the peoples of the world. So far "viral sovereignty" has been noted almost exclusively by health experts. Political leaders around the world should take note -- and take very strong action.

The vast majority of repeated avian flu outbreaks the past four years, in both humans and poultry, have occurred in Indonesia.…  Seguir leyendo »

De pie junto a Slobodan Milosevic en el porche de un refugio de caza situado a las afueras de Belgrado vislumbré dos hombres en la distancia. Salieron de sendos Mercedes idénticos y, en la luz menguante, se digirieron hacia nosotros. Sentí una sacudida en todo el cuerpo; eran inconfundibles. Ratko Mladic con uniforme de combate, robusto, caminando como por un campo enlodado; y Radovan Karadzic, más alto, de traje, con su ingobernable, pero cuidadosamente peinada, mata de pelo blanco.

La captura, el pasado lunes, de Karadzic me devolvió a una larga noche de enfrentamiento, drama y negociaciones de hace casi 13 años; la única vez que lo vi en persona.…  Seguir leyendo »

Standing with Slobodan Milosevic on the veranda of a government hunting lodge outside Belgrade, I saw two men in the distance. They got out of their twin Mercedeses and, in the fading light, started toward us. I felt a jolt go through my body; they were unmistakable. Ratko Mladic in combat fatigues, stocky, walking as though through a muddy field; and Radovan Karadzic, taller, wearing a suit, with his wild, but carefully coiffed, shock of white hair.

The capture of Karadzic on Monday took me back to a long night of confrontation, drama and negotiations almost 13 years ago -- the only time I ever met him.…  Seguir leyendo »

Washington´ss Battle Over Israel´s Birth

In the celebrations next week surrounding Israel's 60th anniversary, it should not be forgotten that there was an epic struggle in Washington over how to respond to Israel's declaration of independence on May 14, 1948. It led to the most serious disagreement President Harry Truman ever had with his revered secretary of state, George C. Marshall -- and with most of the foreign policy establishment. Twenty years ago, when I was helping Clark Clifford write his memoirs, I reviewed the historical record and interviewed all the living participants in that drama. The battle lines drawn then resonate still.

The British planned to leave Palestine at midnight on May 14.…  Seguir leyendo »

SARAJEVO -- Twelve years ago, the guns in Bosnia fell silent after a war that killed at least 100,000 people and left more than 2 million homeless. Since then, the 1995 Dayton Peace Agreement has often been suggested as a model for other peace efforts in countries with deep ethnic or religious differences. Bosnia's "federalism" structure has been cited, especially by Sen. Joe Biden and former Council on Foreign Relations president Les Gelb, as a possible model for Iraq.

But the world has more or less turned its back on Bosnia itself. I returned to see how things were going. What I found has relevance to many other areas, including Iraq.…  Seguir leyendo »

This former Taliban stronghold, where Osama bin Laden spent time planning the Sept. 11 attacks, has become an American success story. The Taliban is being pushed out, and a government presence is extending into previously hostile territory. At NATO headquarters in Kabul, most of Khost has been moved out of the "red" column -- at least for now.

Khost shows that, with the right combination of resources and leadership, it can be done. But Khost is not simply a good-news story. It also underscores a larger, troubling truth: The conflict in Afghanistan will be far more costly and much, much longer than Americans realize.…  Seguir leyendo »

Pakistan has had a such run of bad news in recent years that it may seem delusional to describe the current mood here as hopeful. Yet that is the impression this country -- often called by the American media the most dangerous on Earth -- is offering a visitor.

The main reason for the new mood is the return of a vibrant democratic process and what is widely believed to be the end of a decade of military rule. Less than two months after Benazir Bhutto's murder, her Pakistan People's Party and the party of her chief rival, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, swept parliamentary elections that were widely accepted as honest.…  Seguir leyendo »

"I'm a spray man myself," President Bush told government leaders and American counter-narcotics officials during his 2006 trip to Afghanistan. He said it again when President Hamid Karzai visited Camp David in August. Bush meant, of course, that he favors aerial eradication of poppy fields in Afghanistan, which supplies over 90 percent of the world's heroin. His remarks -- which, despite their flippant nature, were definitely not meant as a joke -- are part of the story behind the spectacularly unsuccessful U.S. counter-narcotics program in Afghanistan. Karzai and much of the international community in Kabul have warned Bush that aerial spraying would create a backlash against the government and the Americans, and serve as a recruitment device for the Taliban while doing nothing to reduce the drug trade.…  Seguir leyendo »

At a most inopportune time, the Balkans are back. On Dec. 10, the U.S.-E.U.-Russian negotiating team tasked with getting the Serbs and Albanians to agree on Kosovo's future status will report to the United Nations that it has failed. A few weeks later Kosovo's government will proclaim that Kosovo is an independent nation -- a long overdue event.

The United States and most of the European Union (led by Britain, France and Germany) will recognize Kosovo quickly. Russia and its allies will not. Kosovo's eight-year run as the biggest-ever U.N. project will end with great tension and a threat of violence that could spread to Bosnia.…  Seguir leyendo »

On the day you read this column, an estimated 12,000 people worldwide will contract HIV. Ninety percent of them, about 10,800 people, will not learn they are infected until full-blown AIDS hits them -- in 2015. Until then, those people will unintentionally spread the virus that lies silently within each of them.

But on Dec. 1, the 19th annual World AIDS Day, political leaders and international health officials will, once again, tell the world that although the fight is far from over, progress is being made. The fight is indeed far from over -- but don't believe the second half of such statements.…  Seguir leyendo »

Three seemingly unrelated events may not constitute a trend. But they certainly deserve attention when they shed light on the relationship between the United States and China, which is fast becoming the most important bilateral connection in the world.

The first is the much-heralded breakthrough in Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill's negotiations with North Korea. After more than a year in which the six-party talks were suspended, North Korea returned to the table and agreed to disable its main nuclear reactor under the eyes of international inspectors.

This would not have happened without a change in Chinese policy toward North Korea.…  Seguir leyendo »

Obsesionados con Irak, la Administración de Bush y el público han prestado muy poca atención a una serie de desafíos planteados por Rusia con respecto a la estabilidad de Europa. No hay duda alguna de que el presidente Vladímir Putin, envalentonado por las dificultades de Estados Unidos y por la eficacia de su diplomacia de la energía (que a veces parece chantaje), está tratando de recuperar el terreno perdido en la década siguiente al derrumbe de la Unión Soviética, mientras que en el ámbito interno aplica, cada vez más, políticas autoritarias, a menudo brutales. Sólo cuando Putin criticó duramente a EE UU durante una conferencia en Múnich celebrada el mes pasado (con el secretario de Defensa, Robert Gates, y los senadores John McCain, Joe Lieberman y Lindsey Graham como interlocutores) los norteamericanos le prestaron atención, y tan sólo de pasada.…  Seguir leyendo »