Step­ping Down

Southasia - - Briefing -

U.S Am­bas­sador to Afghanistan, Ryan Crocker re­cently an­nounced that he will be step­ping down from his post this sum­mer, af­ter serv­ing for less than a year. Crocker, 62, cited health rea­sons for his de­par­ture. The am­bas­sador’s de­par­ture comes amidst grow­ing con­cerns re­gard­ing the com­mence­ment of a new phase in the U.S-Afghanistan re­la­tion­ship marked by NATO with­drawal and Afghan forces gear­ing up to take re­spon­si­bil­ity for not only their se­cu­rity but also their gov­er­nance. A re­spon­si­ble and com­mit­ted with­drawal is go­ing to be a defin­ing point for the U.S to il­lus­trate its in­vest­ment in the ‘un­winnable war.’

The former am­bas­sador to Iraq, came out of re­tire­ment at the be­hest of Pres­i­dent Obama to lead the em­bassy at a time when the U.S suf­fered a rocky re­la­tion­ship with Afghanistan, as a re­sult of leaked ca­bles. Hav­ing al­ready served at the em­bassy in 2002 and with an ex­ten­sive un­der­stand­ing of Pak­istan, Crocker was per­fectly suited for the po­si­tion.

His res­ig­na­tion comes amidst ma­jor se­nior diplo­mat changes in the re­gion. U.S Am­bas­sador to Pak­istan, Cameron Munter, has also pre­ma­turely ended his term and, like Crocker, will step down in sum­mer 2012.

The res­ig­na­tion of both se­nior diplo­mats has been down­played by the State Depart­ment even though news re­ports quote dis­agree­ments with U.S gov­ern­ment poli­cies in the re­gion. The pre­ma­ture de­par­tures pose a sig­nif­i­cant threat to U.S poli­cies and in­ter­ests in a re­gion that ur­gently re­quires a com­mit­ted and sta­ble pres­ence.

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