Gary Grappo

Board Member
Gary Grappo is a former US ambassador and a distinguished fellow at the Center for Middle East Studies at the Korbel School for International Studies, University of Denver. He possesses nearly 40 years of diplomatic and public policy experience in a variety of public, private and nonprofit endeavors. As a career member of the Senior Foreign Service of the US Department of State, he served as Envoy and Head of Mission of the Office of the Quartet Representative, the Honorable Mr. Tony Blair, in Jerusalem. Grappo held a number of senior positions in the US State Department, including Minister Counselor for Political Affairs at the US Embassy in Baghdad; US Ambassador to the Sultanate of Oman; and Charge d’Affaires and Deputy Chief of Mission of the US Embassy in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. From 2011-13, he was President and CEO of The Keystone Center. He currently serves as CEO of Equilibrium International Consulting, providing analysis and policy guidance on foreign affairs to businesses, institutions and the media. Grappo is the former chairman of the Board of Directors at Fair Observer.

The Unthinkable: War Returns to Europe

War has returned to the European continent. President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is more than a Russian war on one nation. It is a war on the West and everything the West represents — its democracy, rule of law, liberty and the rules-based international world order it has established, largely as a result of America’s military power and the combined economic might of the United... Continue Reading

Fair Observer

A Personal Boycott of the Beijing Olympic Games

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the world’s largest corporations are allowing the government of China to use the Winter Olympic Games to promote and advance its notion of the superiority of one-party, one-man authoritarian rule, much as was done at the 1936 Nazi-hosted Olympic Games in Berlin. I’m boycotting these games in Beijing. Doing so does not come easy for me. As a... Continue Reading

Fair Observer

Can Self-Help Diplomacy Lower Political Heat in the Middle East?

Since the end of the 1973 Arab-Israeli War, the United States has been the unchallenged dominant power in the Middle East and North Africa. As such, it often saw its role, for better or worse, as fixing the region’s many problems. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Iraq and Saddam Hussein, Iran, high oil prices, Gulf security, Western Sahara, menacing non-state organizations, counterterrorism,... Continue Reading

Fair Observer

Can the Taliban Govern Responsibly?

Following the fall of Kabul in August, the first face-to-face meeting between US officials and the Taliban took place last week. As is typical in such first encounters, both sides came with their respective agendas, including demands and requests of the other side. The one issue on which both may have agreed is the growing need for humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan. The UN and various... Continue Reading

Fair Observer

What Is the Ruckus Over AUKUS?

Earlier this month, the US, UK and Australia announced an unprecedented agreement to provide nuclear-powered submarines to the Australian Navy. The move provoked outrage from France, which had been negotiating the sale of conventionally-powered submarines to the Australians. French ire led to the withdrawal of its ambassadors from Washington and Canberra. This was particularly surprising... Continue Reading

Fair Observer

America’s Post-9/11 Lessons and Lamentations

Earlier this month, Americans and people around the world commemorated a day that still resonates with disbelief, astonishment and profound sorrow. We don’t know how the world will look at the events of 9/11 in 100 years. But, after 20 years, the heaviness persists and the portents remain still unclear. As if to lend greater somber, the commemoration took place as the US and the world... Continue Reading

Fair Observer

The Issue of Abortion Is a Litmus Test for the American Catholic Church

Ignoring warnings from Pope Francis and the Vatican, US Catholic bishops earlier this month overwhelmingly approved drafting guidance that would deny the rite of communion to public officials who do not support the church’s opposition to abortion. The decision was seen as the church’s most public rebuke yet of US President Joe Biden, only the second Catholic to occupy the White House. A... Continue Reading

Fair Observer

Will the US and Iran Meet Jaw to Jaw?

On February 4, US President Joe Biden visited the US State Department, located down the street from the White House. He went to deliver a foreign policy message much needed by the men and women of that department and the nation. His audience was a receptive one, not surprising given that nearly all of the hundreds in attendance were career diplomats and civil service employees. He delivered... Continue Reading

Fair Observer

A Perspective on America’s Imperfect Democracy

It is a well-established fact that America, as it approaches its 245th birthday, is a divided nation. Red versus blue, conservative versus liberal, right versus left, black versus white, rich versus (a growing number of) poor, urban versus rural. Further divisions may be drawn along education, religion, class, gender identity, ethnicity, language of origin and other descriptors. It was all on... Continue Reading

Fair Observer

Joe Biden Will Face a Much-Changed and Skeptical World

Joe Biden was not elected for his positions on foreign policy and national security. Few US presidential candidates are. In his debates with outgoing President Donald Trump prior to the election, those issues were hardly discussed. So, the success or failure of the Biden presidency will not be determined by foreign policy. For President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris,... Continue Reading

Fair Observer
Load More
Fair Observer, 461 Harbor Blvd, Belmont, CA 94002, USA