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James Dobbins

Ambassador James Dobbins is the director of the International Security and Defense Policy Center within the RAND National Security Research Division. Dobbins has held State Department and White House posts including Assistant Secretary of State for Europe, Special Assistant to the President, Special Adviser to the President and Secretary of State for the Balkans, and Ambassador to the European Community. Dobbins has had numerous crisis management and diplomatic troubleshooting assignments as the Clinton and more recently the Bush administration's special envoy for Afghanistan, Kosovo, Bosnia, Haiti, and Somalia. Diplomatic assignments include the withdrawal of American forces from Somalia, the American-led multilateral intervention in Haiti, the stabilization and reconstruction of Bosnia, and the NATO intervention in Kosovo. In the wake of September 11, 2001, he was named as the Bush administration's representative to the Afghan opposition with the task of putting together and installing a broadly based successor to the Taliban regime. He represented the United States at the Bonn Conference that established the new Afghan government, and, on December 16, 2001, he raised the flag over the newly reopened U.S. Embassy.

Thinking twice about Libyan engagement

The Obama administration is wise to back into a military engagement in Libya rather cautiously. We have learned over the past couple of decades that it is deceptively easy for the world's only superpower to topple objectionable regimes - but a good deal harder to...

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