Tuesday, September 15, 2009

One of America's exceptional diplomats reflects on his four decades in the Middle East, including his role in Iraq and Afghanistan

Ryan Crocker is one of those diplomats who hated serving in Washington and yearned to be in the field. He served as U.S. Ambassador in four key countries--Pakistan, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq--and he opened the U.S. Embassy in Kabul in 2001. He has notable comments on the U.S. dialogue with Iran, which ended in the spring of 2003, after a period of important cooperation in Afghanistan, as well as about his service in Iraq.

I first met him almost 30 years when he was Political Officer in Beirut (before his office was blown up when the embassy was destroyed in April 1983). I was immediately impressed by his open mind, his curiosity and his feel for what was going on in Lebanon at the time. I strongly urge that you spend some time reading his reflections.

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