In the midst of a period of great activity in Central Asia, Obama has just chosen new ambassadors to Afghanistan and Pakistan. These are tough jobs. It’s hard to think of two more troubled countries than Afghanistan and Pakistan, and there are few U.S. allies with whom our relationship is more fraught. The New York Times reports:
President Obama chose veteran diplomats on Tuesday to fill two of the most difficult overseas posts as he seeks to manage an evolving transition in war-torn Afghanistan while repairing relations with neighboring Pakistan after a period of deep friction.While Mr. Obama made a campaign swing through Texas, the White House announced that he would nominate James B. Cunningham, deputy envoy in Kabul, to be the new ambassador to Afghanistan. He chose another member of the Kabul embassy staff, Richard G. Olson, who until recently oversaw economic affairs and development, to be the new ambassador to Pakistan.
Let’s all wish these two gentlemen well. They are taking on top assignments. Neither one can expect a lot of good press, and both face real danger in service to their country. The nearest we at Mead Manor ever get to violence is when misbehaving interns receive a few harmless floggings and “enhanced interrogation” sessions for daring to defy the Professor.We hear a lot about honoring America’s troops, and Via Meadia is very much in favor of honoring their sacrifice.But every now and then, it’s worth remembering our diplomats and honoring their service as well. They won’t get medals, and there will be no marching bands to greet them when they return home. But these men and their colleagues are patriots and heroes. We salute their courage and wish them all the success in the world.