Later this week, Hillary Clinton is expected to announce her choice to replace Richard Holbrooke as the new special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan: Marc Grossman. Grossman's diplomatic career includes three years as the US Ambassador to Turkey, four years as the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, and three years as Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs, bringing him to his current gig as Vice Chairman at The Cohen Group, a corporate leadership firm.
A quick look at Grossman's work in these previous roles and the stances he has taken on key issues may give us better insight into the man who would be Richard Holbrooke.
A Vision for the Middle East
In a 2008 op-ed for The German Marshall Fund, Grossman suggested applying the strategy used on the Warsaw Pact countries in the late 1990s to the Middle East. Grossman noted in the piece that the United Nations was able to convince the Soviet Union to adopt the UN's principles, including the universal declaration of human rights, by pointing out that the Soviet's own, unused, constitution included mentions of the same freedoms. "Official rhetoric in Iran and many Arab states refer to the protection of human rights and to the UN Charter," Grossman said, so "why not demand in a Middle East Final Act that they live up to their rhetoric by allowing insiders and outsiders to judge the distance between promises and policies just as Helsinki allowed the world to judge the former Soviet empire?" He then went on to outline a plan for a "Helsinki-like conference" dealing with the important issues of Iran, Palestine, human rights, environmental sustainability, and a coordinating organization for the Middle East.