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Mitchell and Holbrooke to be Named Envoys

By Glenn Kessler
Now that Hillary Clinton has been confirmed as Secretary of State, the Obama administration will announce Thursday two high-profile appointments -- former senate majority leader George Mitchell (D-Me.) as Middle East envoy and former U.N. ambassador Richard Holbrooke as envoy for Afghanistan, Pakistan "and related matters," sources close to the administration said.

Mitchell will be charged with rebuilding the Middle East peace process in the wake of the three weeks of violence between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas. Holbrooke will take on the difficult job of soothing relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan, whose border is a haven for the Taliban and is believed to harbor Osama Bin Laden. Left unsaid is that Holbrooke's brief could extend to India, which has been a victim of Islamic terrorism from Pakistan but is suspicious of third-party intervention in the dispute with Pakistan over Kashmir.

Both men are highly regarded for their diplomatic skills but have vastly different styles. Mitchell, a former federal judge, calmly and patiently approaches difficult issues while the hard-charging Holbrooke is known as a demanding task-master.

During the Clinton administration, Mitchell was instrumental in the settlement of the Northern Ireland conflict and in 2000 headed a commission that looked into the escalating violence between Israelis and Palestinians. The Mitchell report, issued in 2001, won praise for being impartial, so much so that both sides accepted it. The recommendations in the report helped form the basis for the international "road map" plan that has been a hallmark of all later peace efforts.

Holbrooke was the chief architect of the Dayton peace accords that ended the Bosnian conflict in the mid-1990s, a peace that has held to this day in the ethnically divided country.

Posted at 5:57 PM ET on Jan 21, 2009  | Category:  Foggy Bottom
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Since pResident Obama "retook" the oath, I guess he doesn't think it is unnecessary ; )

Posted by: JakeD | January 22, 2009 8:21 AM

Best wishes for success to Mr. Mitchell and Mr. Holbrook. Barack Obama has done more work in eight hours than George W. Bush did in eight years.

And we have people who are COMPETENT, according to the article:
"The Mitchell report, issued in 2001, won praise for being impartial, so much so that both sides accepted it. The recommendations in the report helped form the basis for the international "road map" plan that has been a hallmark of all later peace efforts."
"Holbrooke was the chief architect of the Dayton peace accords that ended the Bosnian conflict in the mid-1990s, a peace that has held to this day in the ethnically divided country."

Congratulations!

Posted by: freespeak | January 22, 2009 6:15 AM

Wait a minute, is anyone here actually contending that the 20th Amendment deleted the Constitutional requirement for a President to take an oath of office?

Posted by: JakeD | January 21, 2009 7:22 PM

"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of president of the United States and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

Posted by: JakeD | January 21, 2009 7:11 PM

Obamaniacs:

If The One had REFUSED to take any oath yesterday, would you still think he was President?

The Presidential oath is explicitly prescribed in the Constitution, Article II, Section 1, which begins by saying the president "shall" take the oath "before he enter on the execution of his office."

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/01/20/MNAF15E20I.DTL

Posted by: JakeD | January 21, 2009 6:20 PM

Secretary of State. Hillary DIANE Clinton, was neither legally nominated nor confirmed; no (legal) Special Envoy appointments are coming soon.

Posted by: JakeD | January 21, 2009 6:08 PM

Etc., etc.

Posted by: JakeD | January 21, 2009 6:01 PM

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