Crocker confirmed US new Afghan envoy
WASHINGTON (PAN): The US Senate on Thursday unanimously confirmed veteran American diplomat, Ryan Crocker, as new US Ambassador to Afghanistan, and the top US and NATO forces commander there, Gen. David Petraeus, as the new CIA Director.
Both the nominations were confirmed unanimously by the United States Senate.
Crocker, who retired from the US Foreign Service in 2009, replaces ambassador, Karl Eikenberry. He has previously served in Pakistan, Kuwait, Lebanon and Syria.
Petraeus would succeed Leon Panetta as the CIA Director. Panetta is the new US Defense Secretary replacing Robert Gates. He would, however, remain in Afghanistan for some time to oversee the start of the withdrawal of US troops from this war ravaged country.
“General David Petraeus is one of this country’s finest public servants, and will retire from the United States military with a far-reaching and unparalleled legacy. This man could leave public service to make millions working in the business community, but he walked away from that money because he thinks he has more to give his country. That dedication is the true epitome of patriotism,” Senator Harry Reid, Senate Majority Leader, said after Senate’s confirmation.
"The overwhelming Senate vote confirming David Petraeus as the next Director of the CIA reflects the universal and bipartisan respect and admiration that General Petraeus commands in the Senate and among the American people -- Democrats, Republicans, and Independents,” said Senator Joe Lieberman.
Meanwhile, a former top Pentagon General on Thursday hoped that Crocker would help in improving relationship with the Afghan President, Hamid Karzai.
“One of the things we should be encouraged by is, Ambassador Ryan Crocker is heading towards Afghanistan. And for the viewing audience, you know, Ryan Crocker is the ambassador who was in Iraq during the surge period with General Petraeus. And we don't turn things around in Iraq without a Ryan Crocker. I mean, that's just the reality of it,” Gen (rtd) Jack Keane, said at a discussion on Afghanistan organized by the Institute for the Study of War, a Washington-based think-tank.
“He's probably the most effective diplomat we've had in this region of the country. He's coming out of retirement. He was on his way to retirement when he took the job in Iraq. So he's extraordinary. And he knows we need a political strategy in Iraq. He's comfortable with the military strategy, but he knows we need a political strategy. And he knows we need an economic strategy, you know, to sort of get there and get to 2014 with a better election, not just at the national level,” Keane said.
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