Things that matter

This strike me as a problem: The U.S. State Department’s point man for Pakistan—perhaps the world’s most dangerous place—has virtually no previous experience in South Asia. I’m talking about Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Richard Boucher, whose prior positions were assistant secretary for public affairs and department spokesman. This is ...

597179_boucher_05.jpg
597179_boucher_05.jpg

This strike me as a problem: The U.S. State Department's point man for Pakistan—perhaps the world's most dangerous place—has virtually no previous experience in South Asia.

I'm talking about Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Richard Boucher, whose prior positions were assistant secretary for public affairs and department spokesman.

This is not a knock on Boucher, mind you. I'm sure he's a dedicated and capable public servant with a sterling reputation inside the department. He does speak French and Chinese, and was consul in Hong Kong and Cyprus. As spokesman, he regularly accomplished the key task of boring journalists to death at the podium and thus making no news. And for what it's worth, U.S. policy on Pakistan is probably being screwed up set at a level well above his pay grade. I'm just mystified as to why the higher-ups thought he was the best person in the entirety of the U.S. foreign-policy apparatus for this critical job.

This strike me as a problem: The U.S. State Department’s point man for Pakistan—perhaps the world’s most dangerous place—has virtually no previous experience in South Asia.

I’m talking about Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Richard Boucher, whose prior positions were assistant secretary for public affairs and department spokesman.

This is not a knock on Boucher, mind you. I’m sure he’s a dedicated and capable public servant with a sterling reputation inside the department. He does speak French and Chinese, and was consul in Hong Kong and Cyprus. As spokesman, he regularly accomplished the key task of boring journalists to death at the podium and thus making no news. And for what it’s worth, U.S. policy on Pakistan is probably being screwed up set at a level well above his pay grade. I’m just mystified as to why the higher-ups thought he was the best person in the entirety of the U.S. foreign-policy apparatus for this critical job.

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