Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

Armitage to represent in Kabul?

The British press (scroll down to it) is touting Richard Armitage as the next U.S. ambassador to Kabul: Excited chatter on the Ferrero Rocher circuit in Kabul includes a new possible name for the post of U.S. ambassador — one Richard Armitage. No wonder they’re in a tizz — the 65-year-old ‘Nam veteran was the ...

Getty Images.
Getty Images.
Getty Images.

The British press (scroll down to it) is touting Richard Armitage as the next U.S. ambassador to Kabul:

Excited chatter on the Ferrero Rocher circuit in Kabul includes a new possible name for the post of U.S. ambassador -- one Richard Armitage. No wonder they're in a tizz -- the 65-year-old 'Nam veteran was the muscular number two at the state department during 9/11. He was said to have leaked the name of Valerie Plame in the Nigergate affair, and warned Pakistan that the US would bomb the country "back to the Stone Age" if it continued to back the Taliban. Our man in Kabul, Sir William Patey, has already proved a big hit; together, they could make quite a double act.

This actually makes sense if you think that the U.S. needs to deal pretty quickly and decisively with its two great problems in the region -- destructive Afghan governance by the Afghans and Pakistani complicity in Afghanistan's agony. I do.

The British press (scroll down to it) is touting Richard Armitage as the next U.S. ambassador to Kabul:

Excited chatter on the Ferrero Rocher circuit in Kabul includes a new possible name for the post of U.S. ambassador — one Richard Armitage. No wonder they’re in a tizz — the 65-year-old ‘Nam veteran was the muscular number two at the state department during 9/11. He was said to have leaked the name of Valerie Plame in the Nigergate affair, and warned Pakistan that the US would bomb the country "back to the Stone Age" if it continued to back the Taliban. Our man in Kabul, Sir William Patey, has already proved a big hit; together, they could make quite a double act.

This actually makes sense if you think that the U.S. needs to deal pretty quickly and decisively with its two great problems in the region — destructive Afghan governance by the Afghans and Pakistani complicity in Afghanistan’s agony. I do.

But I’d be surprised because the Plame stuff could make the confirmation hearings difficult. If he is confirmed, when Petraeus challenges him to a run, as is his wont, the weight-lifting Armitage can offer to bench-press Petraeus a few hundred times.

Armitage, by the way, is on the board of CNAS, where I hang my thinking hat. If you want his take on the future of South Asia, here’s a CNAS paper from last year in which he was a co-author.

(HT to TD)

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1

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