The passing of Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, President Obama's Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, comes at a key time for the region and the United States' involvement in it. The president is meeting in the Situation Room at the White House Tuesday with his national security team to discuss the review of the war in Afghanistan and what it will mean for U.S. involvement going forward.
Ambassador Holbrooke had been scheduled to be a part of that meeting. "We will... miss him at the table as we finish this week the president's review of our Afghanistan strategy, a strategy [Holbrooke] helped write and one he deeply believed in," Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen said in a statement Monday.
"That we have been making steady progress in this war is due in no small measure to Richard's tireless efforts and dedication," Mullen added. "Few have done as much to achieve success; none have done more."
Holbrooke passed away Monday after being hospitalized for a torn aorta.
High-ranking officials from the military and civilian community alike, including the president himself, have weighed in on Holbrooke's passing and it seems clear those in Tuesday's meeting will mark his absence in some way.
"I know he would want our work to continue unabated," said Mullen. "And I know we will all feel his bully presence in the room as we do so."