Present At the Breakup: BOB STRAUSS

As Washington's man in Moscow, veteran politico BOB STRAUSS discovers the frustrations of the diplomatic beat

Bob Strauss was frustrated. America's first post-cold war ambassador to Russia thought he and the embassy were spending too much time watching events and not enough shaping them. So one recent morning in Moscow, Strauss called together 18 members of his senior staff and delivered a little speech in his deep gravel pit of a West Texas drawl. He wanted to change the nature of what the embassy does, he said; it was not his style to sit back and just watch things happen. "I didn't come over here to be a goddam reporter," Strauss told his aides, "and I don't...

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