America is safer and more respected around the world because of Ambassador Holbrooke. Our nation mourns his passing, and I offer my condolences to his family and loved ones during this difficult time.
Yesterday America lost one of the most talented and dedicated diplomats it has ever produced. Richard Holbrooke began his diplomatic service several decades ago as a young foreign service officer in Vietnam. The storied career that followed spanned the globe and will remain an integral part of the diplomatic history of our nation. Richard will always be remembered for pursuing the hardest missions, whether negotiating the Dayton Accords which helped to end the war in Bosnia, or his immensely difficult final assignment as Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan. Ambassador Holbrooke doggedly pursued what in his view best enhanced the diplomacy and national security objectives of our nation. We honor his legacy of service to America’s foreign policy and interests by continuing his efforts to help Afghanistan deny the Taliban a return to power, and to disrupt, defeat and dismantle al-Qaeda.