For what it's worth on Zalmay Khalilzad...
I have always had the highest opinion of Zalmay Khalilzad. I first learned of him while I spent months practically living at the RAND site: downloading, printing and reading everything I could get my hands on (which, if you have ever visited RAND, is a lot) beginning around late 1999.
My first 'run-in' with him was when I read Congage China, which was/is brief and brilliant.
When he was appointed to be U.S. ambassador in Afghanistan in 2003, I literally cheered out loud (that got a few looks). Pound for pound, in any diplomatic position, Zalmay Khalilzad is the right man for just about any job. I, for one, am glad he is now in Iraq.
Practical, intelligent, wise and alert in every setting.