Diplomat Reflects on ‘Fraught Foreign Landscape’

As Ambassador Crocker retires following a 40-year legacy of service, a New York Times article offers some captivating thoughts on U.S. foreign policy challenges.

The article notes:

In the years ahead, Mr. Crocker sees, if anything, an increasingly fraught foreign landscape in a world set afire by war and revolution, a chapter bound to frustrate the best intentions and most sophisticated strategies of the United States. Although he speaks Arabic and has spent a lifetime immersed in the Arab world and Afghanistan, Mr. Crocker is deeply skeptical that Americans on foreign soil can be anything other than strangers in a strange land.

“We’re a superpower, we don’t fight on our territory, but that means you are in somebody else’s stadium, playing by somebody else’s ground rules, and you have to understand the environment, the history, the politics of the country you wish to intervene in,” he said.

In September 2010, the Honorable Ryan Crocker, former U.S. ambassador to Iraq and then-current ambassador to Afghanistan, spoke to members of DCFR and the World Affairs Council.  Additionally, American Committees on Foreign Relations, the umbrella organization for DCFR, honored Ambassador Crocker with a distinguished service award at its 16th Annual Conference in May of 2011.



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