Richard Holbrooke was interviewed by the Cable and said he had discussed the assignment with the Ambassador. The article adds the following:
From 2007 to 2009, di Mistura was the U.N.'s special representative in Iraq. He left Iraq last July to become deputy executive director of the World Food Programme.Next, Anthony Cordesman has a new report out: The Afghan War at the End of 2009. I haven't read it yet but this is what the website explains: "The report focuses only on the fighting, and not on the full range of issues that must be addressed to win the war." It discusses six additional areas that are essential for success including ISAF's structure, the structure of the international aid effort, effectively integrating civil and military efforts, building civilian Afghan capacity to govern (rule of law, essential services etc), building an effective ANSF, and linking all these efforts to work in Pakistan.
Holbrooke said that during his time in Iraq, di Mistura earned the respect of leading U.S. national security officials including National Security Advisor Jim Jones and Central Command head Gen. David Petraeus. Di Mistura also has experience working with Karl Eikenberry, the current U.S. ambassador in Kabul, Holbrooke remembered.Di Mistura has served in Afghanistan before, as the director of fundraising and external relations for the U.N.'s office in Afghanistan from 1988 to 1991. He has also worked for the organization in Sudan, Ethiopia, Vietnam, Sarajevo, and several other places, in addition to Iraq.