Stephen M. Walt

More appointments for Team Obama?

Based on a report by Chris Nelson, Jim Lobe passes on some rumored appointments for Team Obama: 1. Dennis Ross supposedly gets the Iran portfolio, which is more than a little worrisome but ought to help resurrect falling oil prices.    2. Richard Haass said to be slated as special envoy for Israel-Arab affairs. This ...

Based on a report by Chris Nelson, Jim Lobe passes on some rumored appointments for Team Obama:

1. Dennis Ross supposedly gets the Iran portfolio, which is more than a little worrisome but ought to help resurrect falling oil prices.   

2. Richard Haass said to be slated as special envoy for Israel-Arab affairs. This is about the best us realists could expect. I’ve differed with Richard on a few issues over the years, but he’s a smart, tough centrist who understands that the approach that Clinton and Bush 43 took towards this problem were abject failures. Welcome back, Bush 41?  

3. Richard Holbrooke reportedly gets to be special envoy for India-Pakistan. He could face an even tougher task than Haass will: here’s hoping he can do for that region what he did for the Balkans. But is this the Blackwill precedent at work (i.e., send a talented but temperamental diplomat as far from DC as possible?).

And Princeton’s Anne-Marie Slaughter is slated for policy planning at State — my sources tell me this one is true, but we won’t know what it means until we see how Hillary decides to use that shop.

Stephen M. Walt is the Robert and Renée Belfer professor of international relations at Harvard University.

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