Quickie: U.S. Diplomats to Take On New Iraq Security Roles in Afghanistan Preview

President George W. Bush is greeted to Baghdad...Image via WikipediaVia Bloomberg:

The challenge for American diplomats who take over security support in Iraq from the U.S. military next year starts with this: They are to provide protection without carrying guns.

They also will be responsible for running their own fleet of aircraft and operating a rocket-warning system, with fewer than 1,100 civil servants replacing a force as large as 50,000 U.S. troops.

As many as 7,000 security contractors along with military companies will pick up where soldiers left off in shoring up a nascent Iraqi police force and shielding Americans from attack.

Saddling the State Department with traditionally military tasks at a fraction of the manpower poses a risky test in a country that still averages 15 insurgent attacks a day and has failed to form a ruling coalition eight months after elections.

“I worry a great deal about that transition,” said Ryan Crocker, U.S. ambassador to Iraq between 2007 and 2009. “The capacity does not exist on the civilian side to take on the vast array of roles and missions that the military has so ably performed in Iraq.”
Congress has proposed cutting $150 million to $425 million from Obama’s request for $1.8 billion for the State Department’s operations in Iraq this year, the type of cut that could limit diplomats’ movements out of their compounds without sufficient security. The Defense Department spent $2.66 billion a week at the peak of the conflict in 2007-2008.

Read the whole thing here.

Don’t you just absolutely luv nationbuilding on the cheap?

Less people (than DOD), less money (than DOD), and look — just hands, no guns – and still winning hearts and minds — what’s not to looove, dudes?

What’s that?  Oh, you can now call the police for help if you’re in trouble, also — except you won’t know who they’re gonna shot, also.  Spot what’s wrong with this picture, please?

Officially In: David L. Carden to ASEAN

On November 9, President Obama announced his intent to nominate  David L. Carden to be Representative of the United States of America to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) with the rank of Ambassador. The WH released the following brief bio:

David L. Carden is a partner at Jones Day, an international law firm with over 30 offices around the world, including six offices in Asia.  Currently he is the worldwide Co-Chair of Jones Day’s Securities Litigation and SEC Enforcement Practice. Prior to his current responsibilities, Mr. Carden was Litigation Coordinator in Jones Day’s New York office, which included oversight of its litigation and intellectual property practices. Mr. Carden serves on the Board of Visitors for the Indiana University School of Law.

He received a J.D. from Indiana University, where he was Order of the Coif and a B.A. from DePauw University in Indiana, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.

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A press item from DePauw University states that Carden is a partner at Jones Day, an international law firm with over 30 offices around the world, including six offices in Asia.  Here is a fuller bio from Jones Day where he is the worldwide co-chair of the Firm’s Securities Litigation & SEC Enforcement Practice: 

David Carden has been responsible for representing clients in some of the largest securities fraud class actions ever litigated, including the defense of Lehman Brothers in the Enron Litigation and of Union Excess in the In Re AIG Securities Litigation. He has extensive experience in the defense of claims involving derivatives, options, auction rate securities, commodities, and exchange traded and over the counter foreign currencies. David is Special Litigation Counsel in the Lehman Bankruptcy.

David also has been responsible for coordinating the defense of litigation brought in the courts of various foreign countries, including England, France, Switzerland, Luxembourg, the Netherland Antilles, and Barbados. He has extensive experience conducting discovery in foreign countries pursuant to the Hague Convention and pursuant to Letters Rogatory, and he has defended and prosecuted claims and conducted investigations for and against entities and individuals residing in various countries, including Indonesia, Singapore, China, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and other Middle Eastern countries. David also has extensive experience mediating cases throughout the United States.

David co-chairs the Firm’s Securities Litigation & SEC Enforcement Practice. In recent years, David has been recognized by Chambers, New York Super Lawyers, and The New York Times “Super Lawyer Section” for his accomplishments in defending securities litigation. He has lectured on litigation arising from collateralized debt obligations and credit default swaps in various venues and was a panelist on cross-border litigation at a recent SIFMA conference.
Indiana University (J.D. 1976; Order of the Coif); DePauw University (B.A. with high distinction 1973; Phi Beta Kappa)

OpenSecrets.org Center for Responsive Politics has listed David Carden and Rebecca Riley as “bundlers” in President Obama’s 2008 presidential run who “bundled” a minimum of $500,000 and also donated to his inauguration. The Cable’s Josh Rogin has more details here, including reactions on the nomination.

If confirmed, Mr. Carden would join more than a couple dozen “bundlers” who turned ambassadors in the last couple of years. See the list here from Open Secrets.   

By the way—for those still looking for an open slot — we still need an ambassador for Barbados, but he/she needs a private plane over there because he/she will be accredited to some seven  tiny independent island countries. And there are no bridges. And Uncle Sam with a bleeding red budget and some loud attempts to chop-chop spending won’t have a lot of travel funds. Even for economy tickets for island hopping. So obviously, an ambassador with a private plane would work out perfectly there.  And he/she is also nice, could even give free rides to embassy staff who also won’t have travel funds but needs to travel to do their jobs.

Related items:
President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts, 11/9/10
Obama nominates Democratic campaign bundler for top Asia post


Officially In: Sue K. Brown to Podgorica

Black Lake, MontenegroImage via WikipediaOn November 9, President Obama announced his intent to nominate Sue K. Brown to be Ambassador to the Republic of Montenegro. The WH released the following brief, brief bio:

Sue K. Brown is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service with the rank of Minister Counselor. She has served since 2009 as Office Director for Southern African Affairs in the Bureau of African Affairs. Previously, Ms. Brown served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Accra, Ghana and Asmara, Eritrea.  Other overseas postings include Indonesia, France, Liberia, Kenya, Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire.

Related item:
President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts, 11/9/10







Officially In: Pamela L. Spratlen to Bishkek

Bishkek cityscapeImage via WikipediaOn October 21, President Obama announced his intent to nominate Pamela L. Spratlen to be Ambassador to the Kyrgyz Republic. The WH released the following brief bio:

Pamela L. Spratlen is a career member of the Foreign Service with the rank of Counselor. She most recently served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Astana, Kazakhstan. Prior to that, she was Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Central Asia. She also served as Consul General in Vladivostok, Russia. Other overseas postings include Moscow, Guatemala and the U.S. Mission to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. In Washington, Ms. Spratlen has served in the Executive Secretariat, Special Assistant to the Counselor of the Department of State and as Country Director in the Bureaus of European Affairs and South and Central Asian Affairs. She also served as Diplomat-in-Residence at the East West Center in Hawaii.

Ms. Spratlen received her A.B. from Wellesley College and holds an M.A. from the School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley, and the Army War College.


Related item:
President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts