The Cable

The Cable goes inside the foreign policy machine, from Foggy Bottom to Turtle Bay, the White House to Embassy Row.

Ross settles into the NSC, some staff delayed

When Dennis Ross went from Foggy Bottom to the NSC to become special assistant to the president and senior director for the Central Region earlier this summer, he was due to bring four aides from his State Department team with him over to Old Executive Office building, while others on his State Department team were ...

When Dennis Ross went from Foggy Bottom to the NSC to become special assistant to the president and senior director for the Central Region earlier this summer, he was due to bring four aides from his State Department team with him over to Old Executive Office building, while others on his State Department team were expected to move elsewhere in the department. But so far, only Ross's special assistant Ben Fishman has gotten into place in the NSC's third floor, working out of the suite of offices that includes Puneet Talwar, the NSC's senior director for Iran, Iraq, and the Persian Gulf.

Ross counselor Gamal Helal and diplomat David Bame are still waiting for the budget, staffing, and personnel issues and paperwork to be resolved to make way for their anticipated move to the NSC, sources say, while senior advisor and Iran expert Ray Takeyh is now expected to return to the Council on Foreign Relations, where he was a senior fellow before joining Ross's team.

The NSC declined to comment on the issue, and neither Takeyh nor Fishman could immediately be reached for comment.

When Dennis Ross went from Foggy Bottom to the NSC to become special assistant to the president and senior director for the Central Region earlier this summer, he was due to bring four aides from his State Department team with him over to Old Executive Office building, while others on his State Department team were expected to move elsewhere in the department. But so far, only Ross’s special assistant Ben Fishman has gotten into place in the NSC’s third floor, working out of the suite of offices that includes Puneet Talwar, the NSC’s senior director for Iran, Iraq, and the Persian Gulf.

Ross counselor Gamal Helal and diplomat David Bame are still waiting for the budget, staffing, and personnel issues and paperwork to be resolved to make way for their anticipated move to the NSC, sources say, while senior advisor and Iran expert Ray Takeyh is now expected to return to the Council on Foreign Relations, where he was a senior fellow before joining Ross’s team.

The NSC declined to comment on the issue, and neither Takeyh nor Fishman could immediately be reached for comment.

Elsewhere in the NSC’s revamped Persian Gulf team, veteran diplomat and former senior Coalition Provisional Authority official in Iraq Molly Phee is serving as the coordinator of a team of three Iraq directors at the NSC, reporting to Talwar. U.S. government Iraq hands have been involved in an intensive NSC-led exercise this month to try to map out affiliated-agency fiscal year 2011 budget needs for Iraq. The Office of Management and Budget has notified agencies that their FY11 budget requests are due next month, as Obama has promised to put the war costs into the regular budget.

Laura Rozen writes The Cable daily at ForeignPolicy.com.

More from Foreign Policy

Soldiers of the P18 Gotland Regiment of the Swedish Army camouflage an armoured vehicle during a field exercise near Visby on the Swedish island of Gotland on May 17.
Soldiers of the P18 Gotland Regiment of the Swedish Army camouflage an armoured vehicle during a field exercise near Visby on the Swedish island of Gotland on May 17.

What Are Sweden and Finland Thinking?

European leaders have reassessed Russia’s intentions and are balancing against the threat that Putin poses to the territorial status quo. 

Ukrainian infantry take part in a training exercise with tanks near Dnipropetrovsk oblast, Ukraine, less than 50 miles from the front lines, on May 9.
Ukrainian infantry take part in a training exercise with tanks near Dnipropetrovsk oblast, Ukraine, less than 50 miles from the front lines, on May 9.

The Window To Expel Russia From Ukraine Is Now

Russia is digging in across the southeast.

U.S. President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken participate in a virtual summit with the leaders of Quadrilateral Security Dialogue countries at the White House in Washington on March 12.
U.S. President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken participate in a virtual summit with the leaders of Quadrilateral Security Dialogue countries at the White House in Washington on March 12.

Why China Is Paranoid About the Quad

Beijing has long lived with U.S. alliances in Asia, but a realigned India would change the game.

Members of the National Defence Training Association of Finland attend a training.
Members of the National Defence Training Association of Finland attend a training.

Finns Show Up for Conscription. Russians Dodge It.

Two seemingly similar systems produce very different militaries.