- ‘I Am Alive’ app gains popularity in terror-ravaged Lebanon
- Gun giveaways gain popularity among Republican candidates
- S.C. hospital worker slapped with $525 federal fine for refilling $0.89 soda
- Teen from ‘Jihad Jane’ plot becomes youngest ever to serve time on U.S. terror charges
- Iranian woman forgives son’s killer at the gallows
- Nebraska principal sorry for ‘don’t tattle’ flier
- Illinois readies to spend $100M for Obama museum in Chicago
- John Edwards back in court — this time as a lawyer for Va. boy’s malpractice case
- Covered California reports more than 200K in overtime Obamacare sign-ups
- Thanks, Chuck: Hagel says U.S. sending Ukraine sleeping mats, helmets
Embassy Row: Two down in south Asia
Their departures will leave the United States with no top-level diplomatic envoy in the unstable South Asian nations, where U.S.-led NATO troops are battling Taliban militants trying to retake Afghanistan from bases along the border in Pakistan.
The sudden lack of experienced ambassadors in both countries presents a special challenge to the Obama administration, said Karl Inderfurth, a former assistant secretary of state for South Asian affairs under former President Bill Clinton.
“I trust the administration will move quickly, very quickly, to put new ambassadors in place,” said Mr. Inderfurth, now with the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Bitaleral ties have deteriorated since the U.S. raid last year that killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, who was hiding in a Pakistan garrison town.
A new ambassador to Afghanistan must be someone with the experience to implement the Strategic Partnership Agreement that Mr. Crocker helped negotiate to govern relations after the planned withdrawal of U.S. and NATO troops within two years, Mr. Inderfurth said.
“These two ambassadors are going to need each other,” he said. “They should be joined at the hip.”
“The White House needs to listen to the ambassadors,” he said.
The U.S. Embassy in Kabul on Tuesday confirmed Mr. Crocker’s decision to resign, one day after he attended a major NATO summit in Chicago where alliance leaders endorsed U.S. plans to withdraw troops by the end of 2014.
In a terse Twitter statement, the embassy said: “Amb Crocker has confirmed with regret that he will be leaving Kabul this summer.”
At the State Department, spokeswoman Victoria Nuland praised Mr. Crocker for his “enormous achievements” and said the 62-year-old career diplomat is resigning for “health reasons” after 10 months in Kabul. She did not elaborate.
Mr. Crocker had intended to serve a two-year term when he accepted the assignment in July 2011, about a year and a half after President Obama ordered a surge of 30,000 troops to reinforce U.S. forces in Afghanistan.
Before he was appointed ambassador to Afghanistan, Mr. Crocker was a dean and professor at the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University. He had retired from the Foreign Service after 37 years.
The reason for Mr. Munter’s resignation remains shrouded in rumors. The career diplomat quit after serving less than two years. Most ambassadors serve about three years in a post.
He was reportedly upset because Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton undermined his attempts to reach out to Hafiz Saeed, founder of the terrorist Lashkar-e-Taiba group blamed for the 2008 siege of Mumbai.
*Call Embassy Row at 202/636-3297 or email email@example.com. The column is published on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
James Morrison joined the The Washington Times in 1983 as a local reporter covering Alexandria, Va. A year later, he was assigned to open a Times bureau in Canada. From 1987 to 1989, Mr. Morrison was The Washington Times reporter in London, covering Britain, Western Europe and NATO issues. After returning to Washington, he served as an assistant foreign editor ...
- Embassy Row: India strikes back over diplomat's arrest
- Embassy Row: India 'shocked,' 'appalled' by consular officer's arrest
- Embassy Row: Wife of Christian held in Iran feels abandoned by Obama
- Wife of jailed U.S. Christian in Iran calls for White House help
- Most Americans want no Iranian uranium enrichment: poll
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
By Tammy Bruce
Team Obama's bizarre behavior helps Gitmo terrorists foil justice
- BOLTON: A 'three-state solution' for Middle East peace
- Joe Biden's first Instagram pic mocked as shill for sunglass ad
- Jews being told to register in Ukraine: John Kerry
- Obama taunts GOP, takes nationally televised victory lap on Obamacare
- U.S. Navy to turn seawater into jet fuel
- Brewer signs 1 of 4 pro-gun bills passed Wednesday
- WEBER: Obamacare cuts home healthcare for millions of seniors
- Rand and Ron Paul ride to the rescue for Bundy in Nevada standoff with feds
- CBO shows it's Paul Ryan 4, Obama 0 on budget targeting
- Nevada Bundy ranch standoff could leave dirt on Harry Reid reputation
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.