Dennis Ross has joined Obama’s team, in what appears to be a supervisory/coordinating role at State, dealing with Iran, but also Afghanistan … oh you figure it out:
Acting Department Spokesman
February 23, 2009
The Secretary is pleased to announce the appointment of Dennis B. Ross to the position of Special Advisor to the Secretary of State for The Gulf and Southwest Asia. This is a region in which America is fighting two wars and facing challenges of ongoing conflict, terror, proliferation, access to energy, economic development and strengthening democracy and the rule of law. In this area, we must strive to build support for U.S. goals and policies. To be successful, we will need to be able to integrate our policy development and implementation across a broad range of offices and senior officials in the State Department, and, in his role as Special Advisor to the Secretary, Ambassador Ross will be asked to play that role.
Specifically, as Special Advisor, he will provide to the Secretary and senior State Department officials strategic advice and perspective on the region; offer assessments and also act to ensure effective policy integration throughout the region; coordinate with senior officials in the development and formulation of new policy approaches; and participate, at the request of the Secretary, in inter-agency activities related to the region.
Ambassador Ross brings a wealth of experience not just to issues within the region but also to larger political-military challenges that flow from the area and have an impact outside of the Gulf and Southwest Asia, and the Secretary looks forward to drawing on that experience and diplomatic perspective.
So, can we look forward to pissing matches with Richard Holbrooke, the Pakistan/Afghanistan envoy? Does "at the request of the Secretary" mean he needs Hillary Clinton’s nod before he gets his fingers dirty?
And will this drown out the noise surrounding the reported appointment of Chas Freeman as chairman of the National Intelligence Council?