Monday, February 23, 2009

The US Ambassadors...

In FP's/TheCable, here

"...Now, the new administration still has to decide, for all those people chosen, whether to confirm the selections made last summer, or, in some cases, to switch out people. Among the selections made last summer by the D-committee, sources said, was for a tentative career Foreign Service diplomat to succeed Ryan Crocker as U.S. ambassador to Baghdad. It's not clear if Christopher Hill was the choice at that time.

Sources speculate that the secret hand influencing the decision to not give Zinni the Iraq ambassadorship may have actually been the top government advocate warning against the militarization of the face of U.S. foreign policy: Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. (Zinni, you willremember, was offered the ambassadorship to Saudi Arabia after the administration changes its mind on Iraq, an offer Zinni said he declined.)

Former Clinton-era NSC official Ivo Daalder is expected to be appointed U.S. ambassador to NATO. ....Current U.S. ambassador to NATO Kurt Volker is likely to be named to another ambassadorship, sources said. .....Sources said former Clinton-era NSC official Mark Brzezinski is possibly going to be named as U.S. ambassador to Poland. Brzezinski, the son of former Carter national security advisor Zbigniew Brezinski, speaks Polish, associates note. Brzezinski, now a lawyer at Hogan & Hartson, did not respond to a query.

Lee Feinstein, the former Clinton-era State Department deputy director of policy planning who coordinated outside foreign-policy advisors for Hillary ...not clear where: associates have mentioned Prague, the European Union, Geneva, or OSCE/Vienna......Harvard Kennedy School professor and dean emeritus Joseph S. Nye tops the list for U.S. ambassador to Japan,....Jeff Davidow, the former assistant secretary of state for Latin American affairs, has taken a leave from the Institute of the Americas to serve as the envoy preparing for the next Summit of the Americas, sources confirmed. "The summit is a premier regional venue, where all of the presidents (including Canada, but not including Cuba) discuss hemispheric problems and solutions and cement their personal relationships," a Washington Latin America hand said. " ....

Tom Shannon, the assistant secretary of state for Western hemispheric affairs, is expected to stay on the job through the spring, when he is likely to be succeeded by Arturo Valenzuela.Afterwards, Shannon is expected to be named ambassador to Brazil or Argentina. ....Numerous media outlets have reported that Christopher Hill, the assistant secretary of state for Asian and Pacific affairs, is expected to be named U.S. ambassador to Iraq, and that Gen. Karl Eikenberry will be named U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan. ......Sources said that Karl Inderfurth, the former assistant secretary of state for South Asian affairs, tops the list for U.S. ambassador to India. Inderfurth, a professor at George Washington University's Elliot School of International Affairs who advised the Obama campaign on South Asian issues, .... Robert Blake, the current U.S. ambassador to Sri Lanka, is the top foreign service officer candidate for the job of assistant secretary of state for South Asian affairs, sources told The Cable. Some South Asia hands thought that U.S. special representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke, who is overseeing the South Asia appointments, might choose to keep Anne Patterson, the current US ambassador to Pakistan, in the Islamabad job. Richard Boucher, the current assistant secretary of state for south Asian affairs, is expected to move on, either to an ambassadorship or to retire from the Foreign Service. Boucher declined to comment on his plans. Outgoing Assistant Secretary of State for Europe Daniel Fried, who has agreed to stay on until his expected successor Philip Gordon gets in place, might also be being considered for an ambassadorship. Fried declined to speculate on a possible ambassadorship, saying his future plans are uncertain.

A State Department source suggested that the current U.S. ambassador to Israel, James B.Cunningham, is likely to stay in the job. He said the deputy chief of mission at the U.S. embassy in Jordan, Daniel Rubenstein, is expected to become the consul general and chief of mission of the U.S. consulate in Jerusalem.

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