Holbrooke's Successor

The day has finally arrived. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has picked a successor for the late special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke. Former Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs and onetime Ambassador to Turkey Marc Grossman (currently at the Cohen Group) will get the nod. Grossman met with Clinton yesterday at State, and the secretary is expected to make the official announcement by Friday at the latest. At the end of the week, she’ll be in New York at the Asia Society to give a speech on Afghanistan and Pakistan. The region isn’t completely new to the former diplomat. He worked in the U.S. embassy in Pakistan in the 1970s. Grossman will be appointed as tensions continue to rage between Pakistan and the United States over two slain Pakistani citizens.

Only a few days after the head of the National Counterterrorism Center Michael Leiter and the Director of National Intelligence James Clapper gave testimony before Congress on terrorism, citing al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and Yemen as two key threats to security, news has broken that Washington is beefing up its funding for Yemen. Though the money isn’t yet approved by Congress, the administration could in theory send $75 million Yemen’s way to bolster a Yemeni counterterrorism unit.

Yesterday, the House approved extending surveillance powers—like roving wiretaps and the authority to track “lone wolf” terrorists—under the Patriot Act through December. Members of the administration, like U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and Clapper, have called on lawmakers to vote for the extension.