ABC News reported ton January 6, 2020 that the U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan John R. Bass (1964–) was stepping down from his position “after serving in the war-weary country’s capital since December 2017.” An official reportedly said that his departure was “long-planned and part of the normal rotation cycle, with American ambassadors typically serving in Kabul for only two years.” Also:
The State Department has named Ross Wilson as chargé d’affaires ad interim at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul until a new ambassador is confirmed. Wilson is expected to arrive in Kabul soon, according to the official.
Karen Decker, deputy chief of mission of the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, will serve as chargé d’affaires until Wilson’s arrival, the official said.
Ambassador Bass’ immediate predecessor in Kabul was Ambassador Peter Michael McKinley (1954–) who served from January 6, 2015–December 18, 2016. Previous to Ambassador McKinley was Ambassador James B. Cunningham (1952–) who served from August 13, 2012–December 7, 2014. Ambassador Ryan Clark Crocker (1949–) who was briefly chargé d’affaires ad interim in 2002 returned to served for one year from July 25, 2011–July 23, 2012. President Obama’s first ambassador to Afghanistan, Karl Winfrid Eikenberry (1951–), served from May 21, 2009–July 19, 2011. President George W. Bush’s last ambassador to Afghanistan, William Braucher Wood (1950–) also served a two-year tenure from April 16, 2007–April 3, 2009.
1/3 It is time for Holly and I to leave #Afghanistan. We will cherish our memories of the Eid holiday in 2018 when peace fell over the whole country and Afghans saw it was possible for both sides to stop the violence.
— Ambassador / Chargé d’Affaires (@USAmbKabul) January 6, 2020
Had a farewell meeting with ambassador John Bass @USAmbKabul. He served US-AFG partnership with utmost diligence & distinction. I thanked him for his hard work & efforts to help strengthen our relations. We will sorely miss him, but wish him every success in his future endeavors. pic.twitter.com/dyBBR0BfHb
— Dr. Abdullah Abdullah (@DrabdullahCE) December 31, 2019
(1/2) President @AshrafGhani conferred the state medal of Ghazi Wazir Mohammad Akbar Khan upon @USAmbKabul John Bass in recognition of his services today evening in a farewell meeting at the Presidential Palace. pic.twitter.com/PGr5nK3KRF
— ارگ (@ARG_AFG) December 30, 2019
Ross Wilson to step in as John Bass,US Envoy to #Afghanistan, Steps out on Cusp of New Peace Deal.Bravo to Wilson,who is outstanding,but why is @StateDept turning to retired FSO for a crucial post at a crucial time – is the active duty bench that shallow? https://t.co/GmhVl7TRtJ
— Laura Kennedy (@AmbKennedy_ret) January 6, 2020
In recent weeks, Taliban officials and American diplomats had neared announcing some form of a cease-fire across Afghanistan, albeit a brief one. Details of the plan were denied by Taliban officials, and it remains unclear what derailed the announcement. https://t.co/c6l33KSE1E
— NYT At War (@NYTimesAtWar) January 7, 2020
— Matt Lee (@APDiploWriter) January 6, 2020