Wolfowitz returns… so what?

CHIP SOMODEVILLA/Getty Images News Have you ever heard of the U.S. State Department’s International Security Advisory Board? Neither have I. Newsweek‘s Michael Isikoff would have us believe that it’s a big deal that U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice recently appointed the former deputy secretary of defense and former World Bank president to this “prestigious ...

597843_071203_wolfowtiz_05.jpg
597843_071203_wolfowtiz_05.jpg

CHIP SOMODEVILLA/Getty Images News

Have you ever heard of the U.S. State Department's International Security Advisory Board? Neither have I. Newsweek's Michael Isikoff would have us believe that it's a big deal that U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice recently appointed the former deputy secretary of defense and former World Bank president to this "prestigious ... 18-member panel, which has access to highly classified intelligence, advises Rice on disarmament, nuclear proliferation, WMD issues and other matters." Former Sen. Fred Thompson needed to be replaced, so Wolfowitz was invited to join.

It's a good scoop—and the irony of Wolfowitz advising anyone on "WMD issues" is certainly delicious—but I hardly think it means anything. The board meets quarterly under the auspices of the Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security. That position has been filled on an acting basis by John C. Rood since the hawkish Robert Joseph resigned earlier this year over the North Korea deal (Joseph is still on the Board, however). What, you haven't heard of Rood either? There's a reason for that: The North Korea file is firmly in the hands of Chris Hill, and the Nicholas Burns is in charge of the Iran file. Rood hasn't even updated his Web page, he's been such a nonentity.

CHIP SOMODEVILLA/Getty Images News

Have you ever heard of the U.S. State Department’s International Security Advisory Board? Neither have I. Newsweek‘s Michael Isikoff would have us believe that it’s a big deal that U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice recently appointed the former deputy secretary of defense and former World Bank president to this “prestigious … 18-member panel, which has access to highly classified intelligence, advises Rice on disarmament, nuclear proliferation, WMD issues and other matters.” Former Sen. Fred Thompson needed to be replaced, so Wolfowitz was invited to join.

It’s a good scoop—and the irony of Wolfowitz advising anyone on “WMD issues” is certainly delicious—but I hardly think it means anything. The board meets quarterly under the auspices of the Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security. That position has been filled on an acting basis by John C. Rood since the hawkish Robert Joseph resigned earlier this year over the North Korea deal (Joseph is still on the Board, however). What, you haven’t heard of Rood either? There’s a reason for that: The North Korea file is firmly in the hands of Chris Hill, and the Nicholas Burns is in charge of the Iran file. Rood hasn’t even updated his Web page, he’s been such a nonentity.

(Hat tip: Andrew Sullivan)

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