Last week, I posted about former CNN correspondent, David Ensor joining the US Embassy in Afghanistan. I sent an email to the press office inquiring about his new position in Kabul. I understand that there will be no formal announcement on this appointment but below is embassy spokesperson Caitlin Hayden’s response:
“David B. Ensor will shortly join the U.S. Embassy in Kabul to serve as Director of Communications and Public Diplomacy. In this capacity, he will oversee and unify the communication activities of all the U.S. civilian departments and agencies in Afghanistan, and he will be the counterpart to the Director of Communication for the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and U.S. Forces-Afghanistan (USFOR-A). His portfolio includes support for the development of Afghanistan’s independent media and government-media relations, building people-to-people ties between the United States and Afghanistan, and countering extremist voices.”
David Ensor’s military counterpart would be Rear Admiral Gregory J. Smith, a career Navy public affairs officer who is the Director of Communication for the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF-NATO) and United States Forces Afghanistan (USFOR-A) and responsible for synchronizing efforts of Public Affairs, Information Operations, and Key Leader engagement.
I have to add that one great thing about the Public Affairs shop at the US Embassy in Kabul is that they actually respond to email inquiries (maalasef, they are the exception, not the rule). On top of that, they run an up-to date Facebook page, a tri-lingual website (English, Pashto, Dari), Twitter and a Flickr page (with photos that are, you know — actually usable because they have not been reduced to thumbprint size for elves).
Now, if that PA office in a warzone can do that, what good reason is there why the PA office at the US Embassy in Baghdad or anywhere else from Algiers to Harare cannot take the time to respond to a public inquiry? Can you think of one?