“Your dad cared… I think he cared because he saw the moral outrage of concentration camps in Europe. His own family had come from Nazi Germany, he served as an ambassador in Germany, he was deeply committed to the Transatlantic Alliance, he believed that the alliance’s role was to ensure that freedom and democracy and open societies existed across Europe and he’d been crazy enough to come here in ’92. It wasn’t an abstraction to him. He’d seen the killing.”

ROGER COHEN

ROGER COHEN

 
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR

“I believe in the transformative power of individuals.  I believe in the big man and woman picture of history.  I believe that there are times when individuals just make a crucial difference.  A transformative difference. [Holbrooke] had the full force of the United States behind him.  And he was willing to put it on the table.”

 

“I am absolutely convinced that Richard Holbrooke believed that activist American foreign policy made the world a better place.  And that we are the indispensable nation and he believed that in Bosnia and he made Bosnia better.  He believed that in Afghanistan and he tried his damnedest to make it better.”

DAVID ROHDE

DAVID ROHDE

 
DEXTER FILKINS

DEXTER FILKINS

“[Holbrooke] saw that the problems…were essentially not military. We were not going to shoot our way out of this war. These were basically political problems that were going to be solved with the Afghans not necessarily against them. But that the surgery that had to be done, the work that had to be done say on the Afghan government with the Pakistanis, was huge. And these were really big jobs we're talking about that weren't going to be solved in 12 months or even 18 months.”

 

“[Holbrooke] had been involved…in the Paris talks, he had served in Vietnam.  He was known to be someone who was full of it a lot of the time, but also incredibly larger than life.  In a way like President Clinton.  Larger than life characters have larger than life strengths and larger than life weaknesses.  Before I knew it, he was dating my assistant.”

JOE KLEIN

JOE KLEIN

 
RONAN FARROW

RONAN FARROW

“I never talked about this publicly but in those final...weeks and months, he was constantly sending warning memos… Memos that he didn't trust to the system saying… this is what's broken about our approach to Afghanistan, this is what's wrong, this is how we're executing the surge wrong, this is what needs to be fixed.”