Holbrooke's Last Mission the Most 'Complicated' of His Career

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Updated 10:05 a.m. Renowned U.S. diplomat Richard Holbrooke, most recently President Obama's special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, has died after sudden illness at the age of 69. Our James Fallows and Jeffrey Goldberg remember him here and here.

According to The Washington Post, family members report Holbrooke's last words with his Pakistani surgeon as being, "You've got to stop this war in Afghanistan." In October, speaking with ABC's Christiane Amanpour at The Atlantic's and the Aspen Institute's Washington Ideas Forum, Holbrooke spoke of U.S. success in Afghanistan as being linked essentially to U.S. leverage with Pakistan -- and described the U.S. relationship with Pakistan, which it was his final work to manage, as "more complicated than any strategic relationship I've been involved in."


See Marc Ambinder's account, and the full video, of Amanpour's interview with Holbrooke here.
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J.J. Gould is the editor of TheAtlantic.com. More

He has written for The Washington MonthlyThe American ProspectThe Moscow Times, The Chronicle Herald, and The European Journal of Political Theory. Gould was previously an editor at the Journal of Democracy, co-published by the Johns Hopkins University Press and the National Endowment for Democracy, and a lecturer in history and politics at Yale University. He has also worked with McKinsey & Company's New York-based Knowledge Group on global public- and social-sector development and on the economics of carbon-emissions reduction. Gould has a B.A. in history from McGill University in Montreal, an M.Sc. from the London School of Economics, and a Ph.D. in politics from Yale. He is from Nova Scotia.

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