> Vol. 4, No 4. 2014 > Talking to the Taliban 2010 2011: A Reflection

Talking to the Taliban 2010 2011: A Reflection

17 2014

When then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton asked in early 2011 if I would become the United States’ Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan (SRAP) – after the sudden death of Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, the first SRAP – she described the foundations Ambassador Holbrooke had laid to manage one of the most challenging tasks facing the nation. Secretary Clinton also said that she wanted to continue the experiment: having the SRAP organization prove that the “whole-of-government” philosophy – the idea that the United States must employ expertise and resources from all relevant parts of government to address the nation’s most important challenges – was the right model for 21st century diplomacy. The SRAP team brought together experts from across the U.S. Government (and included several diplomats from NATO countries) to develop and implement integrated strategies to address the complex challenges in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the region