Defense Secretary Robert Gates made the following statement regarding the death of Ambassador Richard Holbrooke on Dec. 13.
"I was saddened to hear of Richard Holbrooke's passing last night.
“Ambassador Holbrooke was one of the most formidable and consequential public servants of his generation, bringing his uncommon passion, energy, tenacity, and intellect to bear on the most difficult national security issues of our time.
“Arguably no task was more difficult than his last mission as Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, an assignment that he tackled with the same drive that characterized everything he did during nearly five decades of public life. Richard's talents and efforts were critically important to achieving our goals in that part of the world. He will be sorely missed.
“On a personal level, I first started working with Richard in the Carter Administration and long considered him not only a colleague but a friend and I will miss him. All of us at the Department of Defense convey our condolences to his wife and family."