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Holbrooke's Last Words

Richard Holbrooke made his last words count: “You’ve got to stop this war in Afghanistan,” he told his Pakistani surgeon before the 21-hour surgery on Saturday. So what did Holbrooke think about the war? Bob Woodward’s Obama’s Wars sheds light on his thoughts: "If there are 10 possible outcomes in Afghanistan, nine of them are bad,” he says at one point. He wanted to send half the 40,000 troops we did in 2009, although he opposed a July 2011 pullout deadline. However, he never really got along with President Obama, who Woodward says “didn’t care for” him. Foreign Policy asks, “If Holbrooke and Obama had gotten along better, or if [Hillary] Clinton had been less guarded in her own views, would history be playing out differently?”

December 14, 2010 1:10 AM