Reginald Bartholomew, Busy Diplomat, Dies at 76 – NYTimes.com

What are the qualities of the most effective diplomats? Perhaps surprising to some–its not always being “diplomatic”.  Bartholomew was described by former secretary of state as “one of the best”.  He had been assigned some of the toughest jobs–such as serving in Lebanon one day before U.S. Marines were killed in a bombing:

“It was very hard,” said Leslie H. Gelb, a former reporter at The New York Times who also worked with Mr. Bartholomew in the Defense and State Departments. “We wanted the bases, and the foreign leaders wanted to show they were tough. They didn’t want their people to think the United States owned them.”

He added, referring to Mr. Bartholomew: “He would be blunt, and lots of diplomats are not that blunt. He’d say, ‘I know you’ve got your political problems, but let’s figure out how to keep the bases and deal with your political problems.’ ”

via Reginald Bartholomew, Busy Diplomat, Dies at 76 – NYTimes.com.

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