The White House announced on Friday it’s intention to nominate Cameron Munter as ambassador to Pakistan, so I looked up his bio:
Cameron Phelps Munter is a United States diplomat and career foreign service officer. He is an advisor for political and military issues to Christopher R. Hill, US ambassador in Iraq.
Ambassador Munter was sworn-in as United States Ambassador to the Republic of Serbia on July 26, 2007, succeeding Michael C. Polt and stayed in this position until 2009 when he was transferred to work in Iraq. A career Foreign Service Officer, Ambassador Munter was Deputy Chief of Mission at the American Embassy in Prague, Czech Republic from August 2005 to June 2007. He volunteered to lead the first Provincial Reconstruction Team in Mosul, Iraq, from January through July 2006, and then returned to Prague. He came to Prague from Warsaw, where he served as Deputy Chief of Mission from 2002 to 2005.
Before these assignments, in Washington, Ambassador Munter was Director for Central, Eastern, and Northern Europe at the National Security Council (1999-2001), Executive Assistant to the Counselor of the Department of State (1998-1999), Director of the Northern European Initiative (1998), and Chief of Staff in the NATO Enlargement Ratification Office (1997-1998).
You can tell from these assignments that he’s a very well-regarded career foreign service officer and thus a natural fit for an important job in Pakistan. But it’s also a nice little postcard into the US government’s general lack of interest in specific regional, cultural, or language knowledge. A guy’s plugging away in Europe, doing a good job, volunteers for a post in Iraq, goes back to Prague, but then gets called back to Iraq, does a good job there, and next thing you know he’s Ambassador to Pakistan.