Monday, December 15, 2008

NEXT US Ambassador to Iraq: Crocker, Satterfield, Ricciardone or Holbrooke?

David Kenner looks at the four candidates, in FP, here
"Ryan Crocker: Former Ambassador to Syria and Israel Edward Djerejian pushed the possibility of keeping on a former member of his staff, current U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker. "He has a record of seeking out difficult assignments," Djerejian told me. "He knows the region like the back of his hand, [and] he works well with the military."
David Satterfield: ...another career diplomat, David Satterfield. He currently serves as senior advisor to Secretary Rice on Iraq, and had previously been the deputy Chief of Mission in Baghdad .... as well as a stint in Washington as Director of the State Department's Office of Israel and Arab-Israeli Affairs.
Frank Ricciardone:... has long experience working with Kurdish groups in the north of Iraq. He served as US political advisor for Operation Provide Comfort, an effort by the US and Turkish military to protect Kurds persecuted by Saddam Hussein following the first Gulf War. In 1999, he was selected as the State Department's special coordinator for the transition of Iraq, tasked with coordinating the overthrow of Hussein's regime with Iraq opposition groups.
Richard Holbrooke: ....Holbrooke could use his experience mediating in the Balkans to help Iraq overcome its sectarian obstacles. Having evidently missed out on a place in the Cabinet, serving as U.S. Ambassador to Iraq is one of the few remaining positions appropriate to Holbrooke's stature. However, he lacks the Middle East experience of the other candidates, as well as fluency in Arabic, which is crucial for public diplomacy."

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