Okay, Secretary Clinton is off to East Asia this week, but the week before she sat with Jodi Kantor of NYT for a brief interview. In case you’ve missed this one, I am excerpting the relevant portion about Richard Holbrooke’s role in AfPak from the Secretary herself.
QUESTION: Okay. Yeah, well, let’s do a couple of sort of fact-checky type things. These are things that I’ve been reporting that I would love your read on. Can you explain a little bit how control of the embassies in Islamabad and Kabul will work? I mean, does – essentially, does he have direct control over those embassies? Or will they work through the regular State Department machinery?
SECRETARY CLINTON: Oh, you know, they’ll work through the regular State Department machinery, but in collaboration. You know, we have many Foreign Service and Civil Service professionals, you know, at State and in the countries, who have been and will continue to be, fully engaged on Afghanistan and Pakistan. You know, they are among the best we have. There are a lot of people of deep experience and expertise. They’ve been dedicated, often at great peril and personal sacrifice, and they’re going to be the underpinning of everything that our government does to achieve peace and stability in the region.
Obviously, I expect everyone to work together. And you know, we’re going to be, you know, looking to, you know, Richard to provide, you know, leadership. But we also will be, you know, seeking out the advice and opinions of others who have roles that are important in helping us determine our way forward.
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Interview With Jodi Kantor of the New York Times
Washington, DC / February 6, 2009
Richard Holbrooke: Our AfPak Man and Diplomatic H-bomb