After 22 months in Af-Pak hot seat, Grossman to 'return to private life'

Published: November 28, 2012

Grossman to return to private life after 24 months in Af-Pak hot seat. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

WASHINGTON: US special ambassador to Afghanistan and Pakistan Marc Grossman is due to step down from his post next month, a State Department spokesperson confirmed on Tuesday. 

In the immediate aftermath of Grossman’s mid-December departure, his principal deputy David Pearce will take over.

Grossman had taken over the office of special representative after the death of Richard Holbrooke in late 2010. At the time, Grossman was living a retired life and had been asked by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to come back and take charge of the vacant hot seat. He had reportedly agreed to do so for a period of two years.

“After almost two years in the position, and with Secretary Clinton’s agreement, he will return to private life. The secretary thanks Ambassador Grossman for his efforts to help create the ‘diplomatic surge’ that Secretary Clinton laid out in her 2011 speech at the Asia Society,” State department spokesperson Laura Lucas said on Tuesday.

The spokesperson added that Ambassador Grossman’s work has helped set the conditions for a peace process in Afghanistan, that would enable Afghans to talk to each other in efforts to reach a negotiated settlement.

“This has been a major line of effort in support of the President’s objectives to disrupt and defeat al Qaeda and ensure that Afghanistan can no longer become a safe haven for terrorists. Under Ambassador Grossman’s leadership, the United States also has worked to build a relationship with Pakistan based on identifying our shared interests and acting on them jointly. This work will continue.”

During his time as special envoy to the region, Grossman oversaw a particularly difficult period in Pakistan’s relations with both the US and with Afghanistan.

The special envoy had spearheaded US’ efforts to secure international funding and a long term commitment to Afghanistan in the Bonn and Tokyo conferences.

He also oversaw the security partnership agreement between US and Afghanistan which determined the role of US troops in Afghanistan through 2024.

Grossman was also part of the back channel negotiations with the Taliban. Those talks though came unstuck over, among other issues, the transfer of five Taliban commanders from Guantanamo Bay to relatively relaxed confinement in Qatar.

on Twitter, become a fan on Facebook

Reader Comments (8)

  • Khan
    Nov 28, 2012 - 7:59AM

    “He also oversaw the security partnership agreement between US and Afghanistan which determined the role of US troops in Afghanistan through 2024″

    I guess “2014″

    Recommend

  • Polpot
    Nov 28, 2012 - 8:57AM

    Great ! Unlike his predecessor
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Marc Grossman will not be a victim of a Heart Attack.
    Pak-US relations have improved for sure!

    Recommend

  • syed baqar ahsan
    Nov 28, 2012 - 9:53AM

    When General Patrease went,my remarks were that many in line will go including premature complete withdrawal USA/NATO troops from Afghanistan,first this war is not genuine,it is cause less,the blunder which Russia committed now Americans are doing with 10 times the price and now worst is its psychological fallout on American/NATO forces and their society.Afghan mountains never owns outsiders,read military history of last two centuries. .”America is a super but not with super people” ,might is right cannot be answer to every problem.Americans should go and come back as simple business then there chance to flourish,this arming twisting/carrot was ok in Pakistan,nobody will allow them in India and Afghanistan because stakes of security of other countries are too high in Afghanistan.

    Recommend

  • syed baqar ahsan
    Nov 28, 2012 - 10:01AM

    @Polpot:
    nothing was wrong with the Pakistan,Americans are still involved and doing double game with Pakistan,USA is continuously denying the ground realities in Pakistan and Afghanistan and in process more goings are in the pipe line high command

    Recommend

  • Clear Black Bag
    Nov 28, 2012 - 11:53AM

    “WASHINGTON: US special ambassador to Afghanistan and Pakistan Marc Grossman is due to step down from his post next month, a State Department spokesperson confirmed on Tuesday.”
    This is commencement now and see what happens in the future?????

    Recommend

  • Richard Holbrooke
    Nov 28, 2012 - 5:04PM

    I just wish i had spent more time at the gym, then at the office.

    Richard Holbrooke

    Recommend

  • Dr. Asad Sadick, Germany
    Nov 29, 2012 - 1:11AM

    Obamas re-election, Hillary and Grossman leavng their jobs and Obama trying hard to climb the fiscal cliff and put some sense into Netanyahu means just one thing. There is going to be an unpopular accord between the Jews and Palestenians, and Hillary does not want to be part of that deal. She wants to run for the Presidency in 2016. Mark my words, and she will make it with stalwarts like Obama and Bill Clinton on her side.Recommend

  • Nov 29, 2012 - 11:09AM

    Grossman was also part of the back channel negotiations with the Taliban. Those talks though came unstuck over, among other issues, the transfer of five Taliban commanders from Guantanamo Bay to relatively relaxed confinement in Qatar

    If we admitt that he worked hard and remarkable for peace in the region then a question arise out in our mind he was not succeed in his mission but recalled.

    Transfer of Taliban commander from Guantanamo Bay prison to Qatar is not good will gesture,they should released from Cuba to Afghanistan as Pakistan has done last week.

    No doubt, he opened back channel negotiations with Taliban but declined to consider their conditions that were justified to some extend,in this way the whole efforts he made would have to face total failure.

    Recommend

More in World