Ryan Crocker , the Obama administration’s nominee to be the ambassador to Afghanistan, said the U.S. can’t afford to abandon the region and let terrorists regain a haven for planning violence like the Sept. 11 attacks.
U.S. lawmakers yesterday questioned the role of the U.S. in Afghanistan, pushing for a significant troop reduction even as the Obama administration emphasizes the need to maintain a strong presence in the country.
Ronald Neumann remembers when, as U.S. ambassador to Algeria in 1995, he wanted to visit five polling stations during an election that armed Islamists had threatened to derail. His security officer wasn’t happy.
Top American officials blamed a Taliban faction with ties to Pakistan’s military intelligence agency for the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Kabul and said the Obama administration will not accept its haven in Pakistan.
President Barack Obama has chosen CIA Director Leon Panetta to take over the Pentagon from Defense Secretary Robert Gates and will nominate General David Petraeus to lead the spy agency, an administration official said.
Even last week’s swearing in of Ryan Crocker -- one of the most talented U.S. diplomats -- as ambassador to Kabul seems unable to stanch the perception that U.S. efforts in Afghanistan are waning. Most Americans take solace in the notion that, in President Barack Obama’s words, “the tide of wars is receding,” regardless of whether the administration can tie its disengagement to success.