Mullen: Region Will Feel Loss of Holbrooke

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)

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