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Ambassador Peter Galbraith

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Adviser to the Kurdistan Regional Government


Based: International
Languages: English

Peter W. Galbraith is the Senior Diplomatic Fellow at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation and principal of Galbraith Associates, a Vermont based firm that specializes in international negotiations.

From 1993 to 1998 Peter Galbraith served as U.S. Ambassador to Croatia where he was actively involved in the Croatia and Bosnia peace processes. He was co-mediator and principal architect of the 1995 Erdut Agreement that ended the war in Croatia by providing for peaceful reintegration of Serb-held Eastern Slavonia into Croatia.

Ambassador Galbraith’s diplomatic interventions facilitated the flow of humanitarian assistance to Bosnia and secured the 1993 release of more than 5,000 prisoners of war held in inhumane conditions by Bosnian Croat forces.

Galbraith helped devise and implement the strategy that ended the 1993-94 Muslim-Croat War and participated in the negotiation of the Washington Agreement that established the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

From January 2000 to August 2001, Ambassador Galbraith was Director for Political, Constitutional and Electoral Affairs for the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET). He also served as Cabinet Member for Political Affairs and Timor Sea in the First Transitional Government of East Timor. In these roles, he designed the territory’s first interim government and the process to write East Timor’s permanent constitution. Ambassador Galbraith conducted successful negotiations with Australia to produce a new treaty governing the exploitation of oil and gas in the Timor Sea.

From 1979 to 1993, Galbraith was a senior advisor to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, with major responsibilities for the Near East and South Asia, international organizations, and the Foreign Relations Authorization legislation.

In the late 1980s, Galbraith helped expose Saddam Hussein’s murderous “al-anfal” campaign against the Iraqi Kurds. He documented Iraqi chemical weapons attacks on Kurdish villagers and the depopulation of rural Kurdistan in reports published by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. His work on the Kurdish issue led the US Senate to pass comprehensive sanctions on Iraq in 1988.

During the 1991 uprising, Galbraith travelled throughout rebel-held northern Iraq, narrowly escaping across the Tigris as Iraqi forces recaptured the area. His written and televised accounts provided early warning of the catastrophe overtaking the civilian population and contributed to the decision to create a safe haven in northern Iraq.

In 1992, Galbraith brought out of northern Iraq 14 tons of captured Iraqi secret police documents detailing the atrocities against the Kurds. Galbraith’s work in Iraqi Kurdistan is chronicled in Samantha Power’s Pulitzer Prize winning book, A Problem From Hell: America and the Age of Genocide (Basic Books, 2002), and was the subject of a 1992 ABC Nightline documentary.

From 1998 to 1999, and from 2001 to 2003, Ambassador Galbraith was a Professor of National Security Strategy at the National War College in Washington, DC. In April 2003, he was an ABC news consultant arriving in Baghdad four days after the first American troops. .He is the author of numerous articles on Iraq, including four widely discussed articles in the New York Review of Books: “How to Get Out of Iraq” (April 2004) and”Iraq: Bungled Transition” (September 2004), “Iraq: Bush’s Islamic Republic” (August 2005) and “Last Chance for Iraq” (October 2005).