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Through the course of our work on a U.S. Development Strategy in Pakistan over the past year, anytime anyone asked us who we were trying to reach, whom we hoped to influence, our answer started with one name: Richard Holbrooke. No matter who else we hoped might read them, our recommendations have been addressed-- quite literally-- to Ambassador Holbrooke himself. We addressed five open letters directly to him as the bearer of the huge responsibility he accepted from President Obama and Secretary Clinton to shape American policy in Pakistan (and in Afghanistan)-- only the last in a long, long list of issues to bear his imprint. His passing came much too soon.
2014 is shaping up to be a pivotal year for US-Pakistan relations. The US will be pulling out of Afghanistan; the Strategic Dialogue is continuing; and Kerry-Lugar-Berman will expire. And these are just the knowns.
CGD’s Study Group on US Development Strategy in Pakistan has spent the past several years identifying where US development strategy in Pakistan has gone wrong—and identifying practical solutions for improvement. Following our latest Study Group meeting, Nancy Birdsall, president of CGD and chair of the study group, sent this open letter to Ambassador Jim Dobbins, the US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan.