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Holbrooke’s successor

Marc Grossman is inheriting one of the most sensitive portfolios in international diplomacy.

Career diplomat Marc Grossman will succeed Richard Holbrooke as the Obama administration’s special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, Obama administration officials said this week. Holbrooke died of sudden heart failure in December.

Grossman, an undersecretary of state in the George W. Bush administration, inherits one of the most sensitive portfolios in international diplomacy. In Afghanistan, the U.S. is battling both the Taliban and government corruption. Nuclear-armed Pakistan is politically volatile and home to a large population of Islamic militants; it’s currently embroiled in a dispute with Washington over its imprisonment of a U.S. Embassy employee accused of murder.

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