Quickie: A New Ambassador to Kabul?

NYT reports (January 29, 2009) that “the Obama administration has picked Lt. Gen. Karl W. Eikenberry, a former top military commander in Afghanistan, to be the next United States ambassador to Kabul.” The administration official spoke anonymously because the appointment had not been made public.

If this pans out, General Eikenberry would only be the fourth non-career ambassador assigned to Kabul since 1935. And this maybe one of the few times when you have a political appointee sent to the trenches instead of being shipped to those “cushy” European posts.

He was previously Commander of the Combined Forces Command in Afghanistan, was the U.S. Security Coordinator and Chief of the Office of Military Cooperation in Kabul and had been the Defense Attaché at the United States Embassy in Beijing, China. And there’s more. Click here to read his November 2008 bio in the NATO Parliamentary Assembly. Impressive.

Video of the Week: Jamais Cascio on Building a Better World

Unlike the scores of futurists peddling nightmare scenarios of global catastrophe and social meltdown, Jamais Cascio proposes a different, often surprising alternative: What if human beings, and all of our technology, could actually manage to change things for the better? The strangely plausible worlds Cascio imagines far outstrip conventional thinking: worlds in which surveillance is universal, networks are embedded in all aspects of life, and the Web augments our very eyesight. But rather than focusing on the obvious Orwellian aspects of these looming changes, Cascio suggests that the rapid democratization of these technologies will be empowering rather than enslaving.

After acting as the co-founder of WorldChanging.com, Cascio has, since 2006, made his online home at OpenTheFuture.com. Recently, he was part of Superstruct, part of the Institute for the Future’s 2009 Ten-Year Forecast. He’s now working on a set of 50-year scenarios that will serve as framing material for the TYF & Superstruct content. He’s also at work on a book on the use of foresight as a way of dealing with periods of significant uncertainty and change.

Video from ted.com