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“I think what your father and I had in common was basically our European background and also understanding that we couldn't let things like this happen again, knowing what had happened to as a result of more than ethnic cleansing during the Holocaust, that you couldn't let this kind of thing happen again.”

– MADELINE ALBRIGHT, former Secretary of State

– MADELEINE ALBRIGHT 

 

“He was a big booster and a big believer in the military. He believed that American military power was the key in stopping what was going on in the Balkans. He knew it had to be deployed the right way. He had seen all the mechanics from Vietnam at close range.”

– WESLEY CLARK

 

 
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“We really had our first serious talk in 1992… And we were just sitting there having a drink and, you know, we were talking about the election and the foreign policy issues that the next president would face, the things that were still going on then.  And as I said at his memorial service, [it] almost felt like he was interviewing me to see if I was a suitable candidate.”

– PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON

 

“It was his persistent pressuring of everybody that we began talking to and exploring with the Taliban.”

– HILLARY CLINTON

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“He had a very, I think a keen sense of and strong belief in the power of individuals in history, to make a difference. And this was the way he ran a negotiation, it’s the way he ran things generally. There was always a tremendous amount of excitement that he generated around the issues that he worked on. And he was able to convince people that what they were working on was the most important going on in the world." 

– TOM DONILON

 

“He had to navigate disputes within the White House, disputes between the State Department and the Defense Department, the National Security Council.  And that’s par for the course.  But he was a black belt in bureaucratic kung-fu.  He knew how to get organizations lined up.”

– VICE PRESIDENT AL GORE

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“[In Afghanistan] he was trying to prevent the mistakes from being made, and it came out of his experience in Vietnam.  He saw the potential that if the wrong decisions were made and we didn’t do the right things, that it could wind up being a disaster for the United States and for the region.”

– JOHN KERRY

 

“I thought of him as a diplomat that our country is occasionally lucky to have. Somebody who happened to enjoy public service. I mean, it was his hobby. He probably would have worked for nothing. He didn't do it as a career step.” – HENRY KISSINGER

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 – ASHRAF GHANI

 

 – DOUG LUTE

 

“He’s going to go over, through, or outflank any obstacle that’s there. That’s what he’s known for. That’s what should be expected when you hire Richard Holbrooke.”

– DAVIS PETRAEUS

 

“I was pretty skeptical that a negotiating process could make a difference for the people of Bosnia that had been trapped, and in many ways abandoned for a very long time, but it was pretty clear there was a new sheriff in town… almost days after he arrived.”

– SAMANTHA POWER

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