The Cable

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Briefing Skipper: Rolling Stan, Karzai, TPP, India, Barak

In which we scour the transcript of the State Department’s daily presser so you don’t have to. These are the highlights of Tuesday’s briefing by spokesman P.J. Crowley: General Stanley "Rolling Stan" McChrystal called Special Representative Richard "wounded animal" Holbrooke and Ambassador Karl Eikenberry to apologize for insulting them in the infamous Rolling Stone profile ...

In which we scour the transcript of the State Department's daily presser so you don't have to. These are the highlights of Tuesday's briefing by spokesman P.J. Crowley:

In which we scour the transcript of the State Department’s daily presser so you don’t have to. These are the highlights of Tuesday’s briefing by spokesman P.J. Crowley:

  • General Stanley "Rolling Stan" McChrystal called Special Representative Richard "wounded animal" Holbrooke and Ambassador Karl Eikenberry to apologize for insulting them in the infamous Rolling Stone profile article. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was not insulted in the article, so she didn’t get a call. She did read the article, she did not comment. Our sources said she was not contacted during the writing of the piece.
  • "Look, this is a very strong team. They do work effectively together. They are focused on both the military and civilian components of our strategy," Crowley said. "In any kind of team of heavyweights, you’re going to have different personalities. I just don’t think that this is going to distract us from our focus on the mission."
  • Asked about whether Holbrooke and Eikenberry can still work with McChrystal, Crowley said, "We are focused on our lane, which is the civilian component of the strategy…we’re focused on the substance and the strategy, and we’ll let the other issues take their own course."
  • Holbrooke was in Afghanistan Tuesday, where he met with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Acting Minister of Interior Mangal, Acting National Director of Security Spinzada, and Minister Stanekzai to prepare for the Kabul Conference in July, which Clinton will attend. Holbrooke, Karzai, McChrystal, and Eikenberry were all in the room together for the meeting. Awkward…
  • Holbrooke is headed back to Pakistan, home of the TTP, a militant group the State Department is considering putting on their list of designated terrorist organizations. "So this is something that we have under active consideration. There’s a process underway and we would expect to complete that process relatively soon," Crowley said.
  • Clinton met Tuesday with Finance Minister Mukherjee, Commerce Minister Sharma, and Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Ahluwalia of India U.S.-India CEO Forum at the State Department. Clinton and USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah also gave opening remarks at the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Human Rights and Foreign Policy event, part of the LGBT Pride Month celebrations.
  • Wednesday Clinton will meet with Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak and talk about the easing of the Gaza blockade. She will note that everybody will be involved in implementing the new policy and " I am sure she will also mention that while this is an important step forward – there is still more progress to be made," Crowley said.
  • Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Johnnie Carson was in Lisbon Tuesday making a speech on U.S.-Africa relations. He moves on to Khartoum to open a new embassy compound and then will also travel to Juba and Nairobi.
  • Assistant Secretary for International Organization Affairs Esther Brimmer was in Rome Tuesday meeting with the heads of various UN agencies that deal with food security and is then moving on to Geneva to co-chair a meeting of the UN directors from the Geneva Group.

Josh Rogin covers national security and foreign policy and writes the daily Web column The Cable. His column appears bi-weekly in the print edition of The Washington Post. He can be reached for comments or tips at josh.rogin@foreignpolicy.com.

Previously, Josh covered defense and foreign policy as a staff writer for Congressional Quarterly, writing extensively on Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, U.S.-Asia relations, defense budgeting and appropriations, and the defense lobbying and contracting industries. Prior to that, he covered military modernization, cyber warfare, space, and missile defense for Federal Computer Week Magazine. He has also served as Pentagon Staff Reporter for the Asahi Shimbun, Japan's leading daily newspaper, in its Washington, D.C., bureau, where he reported on U.S.-Japan relations, Chinese military modernization, the North Korean nuclear crisis, and more.

A graduate of George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs, Josh lived in Yokohama, Japan, and studied at Tokyo's Sophia University. He speaks conversational Japanese and has reported from the region. He has also worked at the House International Relations Committee, the Embassy of Japan, and the Brookings Institution.

Josh's reporting has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, CBS, ABC, NPR, WTOP, and several other outlets. He was a 2008-2009 National Press Foundation's Paul Miller Washington Reporting Fellow, 2009 military reporting fellow with the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism and the 2011 recipient of the InterAction Award for Excellence in International Reporting. He hails from Philadelphia and lives in Washington, D.C. Twitter: @joshrogin

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