ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Dec. 14, 2010 — The death of Ambassador Richard C. Holbrooke will be felt in the Afghanistan and Pakistan region, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff told Pakistani media here today.
Holbrooke, the U.S. special representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan, died last night.
Mullen called Holbrooke an American patriot who dedicated more than 50 years of his life to the United States. The ambassador’s service started during the Vietnam War and continued through Bosnia, where he negotiated the Dayton Accords that ended the conflict there. Holbrook served as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and took on his final assignment at President Barack Obama’s request in 2009.
That was when Mullen met him, the chairman said today, adding that they quickly became friends and colleagues.
“I certainly knew of him because of his rich history, … and I certainly knew of him starting with his passion and his dedication, and also his style,” the admiral said. “He had a view and he had an approach that I think caused a comprehensive look at how some of the most difficult issues of our time were approached.
“Those of us who knew him will miss that,” he added.
The chairman said Holbrooke recognized the critical nature of the mission in Afghanistan and Pakistan and had put together a group of people dedicated, as he was, to the success of the mission.
“I am completely confident that they will carry on,” Mullen said. “They will carry on in his spirit, and I know them all well enough to know they will all carry on very specifically as he would want them to do.”
U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)