Breaking: President Bush to name Zalmay Khalilzad as US Ambassador to UN

This comes from ABC News, which has the initial report. Update: Here’s ABC News‘ report:

ABC News has learned that President Bush will nominate Zalmay Khalilzad to be the new U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Khalilzad is currently the U.S. ambassador to Iraq. The announcement may come as soon as tomorrow. Khalilzad’s departure from Baghdad will happen as soon as he is confirmed as U.N. ambassador.

Ryan Crocker, currently the U.S. ambassador to Pakistan, will be nominated to replace Khalilzad in Baghdad. Khalilzad has been U.S. ambassador to Iraq since June 2005. He is the highest ranking Muslim in the U.S. government and one of the few officials at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad fluent in Arabic.

Back on December 9th, Robert Novak reported that President Bush was considering Khalilzad for the UN post.

I just found this report out of Korea that says UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has selected may select Khalilzad as Undersecretary General for Political Affairs, one of the most important jobs in the UN:

Zalmay Khalilzad, who is currently the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, is being tipped for a top U.N. appointment by the new Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

An Afghan and Muslim by birth, Khalilzad is being considered for the post of Undersecretary General for Political Affairs, one of the most powerful jobs in the U.N., that usually goes to a British diplomat, according to reliable sources in Washington and New York.

Both the U.S. and Britain are currently competing for the post. So far many of Ban’s appointments have been from the Third World. To give the Americans their slot in the top rungs of the U.N. ladder by appointing a U.S. citizen born in the Third World would be an extraordinary move.

Mark Kilmer at RedState wrote of a possible turning point with the UN when SecGen Ban Ki-Moon defended Iraq’s execution of Saddam. If this report that Ban Ki-Moon may select Khalilzad for Undersecretary General of Political Affairs is correct, a positive turning point for the UN could be underway.

Update: Ambassador Khalilzad is an advocate for American Global Leadership as outlined in the Project for the New American Century’s Statement of Principles:

We seem to have forgotten the essential elements of the Reagan Administration’s success: a military that is strong and ready to meet both present and future challenges; a foreign policy that boldly and purposefully promotes American principles abroad; and national leadership that accepts the United States’ global responsibilities.

Of course, the United States must be prudent in how it exercises its power. But we cannot safely avoid the responsibilities of global leadership or the costs that are associated with its exercise. America has a vital role in maintaining peace and security in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. If we shirk our responsibilities, we invite challenges to our fundamental interests. The history of the 20th century should have taught us that it is important to shape circumstances before crises emerge, and to meet threats before they become dire. The history of this century should have taught us to embrace the cause of American leadership.

Our aim is to remind Americans of these lessons and to draw their consequences for today. Here are four consequences:

  • we need to increase defense spending significantly if we are to carry out our global responsibilities today and modernize our armed forces for the future;
  • we need to strengthen our ties to democratic allies and to challenge regimes hostile to our interests and values;
  • we need to promote the cause of political and economic freedom abroad;
  • we need to accept responsibility for America’s unique role in preserving and extending an international order friendly to our security, our prosperity, and our principles.

Such a Reaganite policy of military strength and moral clarity may not be fashionable today. But it is necessary if the United States is to build on the successes of this past century and to ensure our security and our greatness in the next.

It sounds like he will be a great advocate for America’s interests at the UN.

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