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2014-07-09
R.I.P. William 'Bill' Herbert Kelder - Intellpuke

2013-11-28
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2013-09-29
An Open Response To 'Organizing for Action'

2013-08-26
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2013-04-21
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2013-04-19
Boston Police Closing In On Suspects

2013-04-15
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2013-01-03
The Press vs Citizens Rights and Privacy - Act 3

2012-12-30
CBS News - Year In Review 2012

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2012-12-25
Happy Holidays

2012-12-21
Welcome To A New Era!

2012-12-16
An Open Letter To United Health Care, Medcom, And The Medical Insurance Industry In General

2012-11-17
Whitehouse Petition To Remove "Under God" and "In God" From Currency And The Pledge.

2012-11-15
December 21, 2012

2012-11-11
If Hillary Clinton Ran For President, She Would Probably Be The Best-prepared Candidate In American History

2012-11-10
CIA Director David Petraeus Resigns After FBI Investigation Uncovers Affair With High-Profile Journalist

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2012-11-07
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2012-11-06
Live Election Results

2012-09-30
FIP In Hiatus

2012-09-18
U.S.-Afghan Military Operations Suspended After Attacks

Iran Nuclear Chief Says IAEA Might Be Infiltrated By 'Terrorists And Saboteurs'

Romney Stands By Gaffe

2012-09-17
President Obama Says China Trade Practices Harm American Auto Parts Workers


Ryan Crocker To Step Down As U.S. Ambassador To Afghanistan
2012-05-22 16:21:31 (119 weeks ago)
Posted By: Intellpuke
The U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan is to step down after just a year in the job, leaving behind a hard-won deal defining long-term relations between Kabul and Washington but a tangle of other challenges for his successor.

The State Department said Ryan Crocker, a career diplomat who came out of retirement to take charge of the embassy in Kabul last July, is leaving because of health reasons.

Crocker was tasked with trying to reset an often tense and acrimonious relationship as a gradual draw-down of U.S. combat forces got under way. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said he would leave in "midsummer".

Nuland highlighted his "enormous achievements" including the strategic partnership agreement that sets a framework for U.S.-Afghan ties beyond the 2014 departure of combat troops, and two deals on Afghan prisons and special operations that paved the way for the wider pact.

"These achievements are the guarantee that as Afghanistan moves to a brighter future secured by its own capabilities, it does so in sovereign and equal partnership with the United States in particular and the international community generally," said Crocker.


(story continues below)




Yet that deal has left some of the toughest questions to be hammered out later, among them U.S. access to military bases in Afghanistan, and the legal status of any soldiers that stay on after the NATO-led combat mission finishes at the end of 2014.

There are other major challenges facing efforts to shore up the civilian government in Kabul and ward off fears the country could fall into another civil war. Efforts to reach a political settlement with the Taliban are faltering, and there is little sign of progress on promised Afghan government efforts to tackle massive graft.

Crocker's departure may also be followed by that of the top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan, General John Allen, according to Reuters news agency. The Obama administration is considering sending him to head U.S. forces in Europe this winter, the agency said this month, citing anonymous sources.

The turnover of the top civilian and military leaders of the U.S. effort in Afghanistan, before either man completed his term, would further complicate the transition to full Afghan control of security, at a time when cash for development spending is also being heavily cut.

Crocker, who previously served as U.S. Ambassador to Iraq from 2007 to 2009, warned near the start of his posting in Kabul that he thought the U.S. would have to spend a lot more time and billions more dollars in Afghanistan.

Crocker had retired from the government in April 2009, becoming dean of the Bush school of government and public service at Texas A&M University.

Intellpuke: You can read this article by Guardian correspondent Emma Graham-Harrison, reporting from Kabul, Afghanistan, in context here: www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/may/22/ryan-crocker-step-down-ambassador-afghanistan


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