Robert Oakley on Somalia, Pakistan, and Afghanistan
Few Americans know more about Africa and the Middle East than Robert Oakley, whose distinguished diplomatic career included stints U.S. ambassador to Zaire , Somalia, and Pakistan;Special Envoy to Somali; director of State’s Office of Combatting Terrorism; and Assistant to the President for Middle East and South Asia.
With help from my colleague Shuja Nawaz, director of the Atlantic Council’s new South Asia Center, I had the opportunity to speak with Ambassador Oakley for a few minutes via telephone. The result is posted as “5 Questions for Robert Oakley” at the New Atlanticist.
He’s more optimistic than most on dealing with the Somali pirates and even more pessimistic than most on Pakistan and Afghanistan. The key ingredient for dealing with all those situations, though, is patience, something in rather short supply.