The White House began a planned Afghan strategy review with Frank Ruggiero, a deputy of tough diplomat Richard Holbrooke who died on Monday, taking his place as the new acting head of the AfPak envoy's office. He will be assisted by two deputies, one of them an Indian American.
Ruggiero became Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan (SRAP) Holbrooke's deputy in July 2010 after serving as the senior US civilian representative for southern Afghanistan.
Ruggiero "will lead the SRAP structure that Richard Holbrooke constructed, and will really serve as one of his finest legacies, assisted by two deputies, Dan Feldman and Vikram Singh", State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said.
Indian envoy calls Hillary Clinton
Crowley also disclosed that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had a brief conversation with the India's special envoy for Afghanistan, Satinder Lambah, following up on a meeting that she had with him and with Holbrooke recently.