United States Ambassador to Afghanistan

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Ambassador of the United States to Afghanistan
سفارة الولايات المتحدة فى جمهورية أفغانستان الإسلامية
Department of state.svg
Seal of the United States Department of State
James B Cunningham.jpg
Incumbent
James B. Cunningham

since August 12, 2012
Nominator Barack Obama
Inaugural holder William H. Hornibrook
as Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary
Formation May 4, 1935
Website U.S. Embassy - Kabul

U.S. diplomatic terms


Career FSO
After 1915, The United States Department of State began classifying ambassadors as career Foreign Service Officers (FSOs) for those who have served in the Foreign Service for a specified amount of time.

Political appointee
A person who is not a career foreign service officer, but is appointed by the president (often as a reward to political friends).

Appointed
The date that the ambassador took the oath of office; also known as “commissioning”. It follows confirmation of a presidential appointment by the Senate, or a Congressional-recess appointment by the president. In the case of a recess appointment, the ambassador requires subsequent confirmation by the Senate.

Presented credentials
The date that the ambassador presented his letter of credence to the head of state or appropriate authority of the receiving nation. At this time the ambassador officially becomes the representative of his country. This would normally occur a short time after the ambassador’s arrival on station. The host nation may reject the ambassador by not receiving the ambassador’s letter, but this occurs only rarely.

Terminated mission
Usually the date that the ambassador left the country. In some cases a letter of recall is presented, ending the ambassador’s commission, either as a means of diplomatic protest or because the diplomat is being reassigned elsewhere and replaced by another envoy.

Chargé d'affaires
The person in charge of the business of the embassy when there is no ambassador commissioned to the host country. See chargé d'affaires.

Ad interim
Latin phrase meaning "for the time being", "in the meantime". See ad interim.
The U.S. Embassy in Kabul, 2010

The United States Ambassador to Afghanistan is the official representative of the President of the United States to the head of state of Afghanistan.

The United States recognized Afghanistan, then under the rule of King Amānullāh, on July 26, 1921. Diplomatic relations were established in 1935. The first ambassador appointed to Afghanistan was William Harrison Hornibrook, who was concurrently commissioned to Persia, as Iran was known then, and resident in Tehran. Until 1942, the U.S. Ambassador to Persia/Iran was also the Ambassador to Afghanistan. The U.S. Legation at Kabul was established on June 6, 1942, with Charles W. Thayer as Chargé d’Affaires ad interim. Cornelius Van Hemert Engert presented his credentials to the government of Afghanistan on July 2, 1942, as the first envoy solely accredited to Afghanistan.[1]

Ambassador Adolph Dubs was assassinated in a botched kidnapping attempt in 1979. For the next ten years no ambassador was appointed; only a series of chargés d’affaires represented the U.S. in Kabul. The embassy at Kabul was closed on January 30, 1989, due to concerns that the new regime would not be able to maintain security and protect diplomats following the final departure of Soviet forces from the country.[1]

Following the ouster of the Taliban, the U.S. Liaison Office in Kabul opened on December 17, 2001, with Ambassador James Dobbins serving as Director. The United States recognized the Afghan Interim Administration on December 22, 2001, when it assumed the authority to represent Afghanistan in its external relations. The embassy reopened on January 17, 2002 with Ryan Crocker as Chargé d’Affaires a.i.[1]

The U.S. Embassy to Afghanistan is located in Kabul.

Ambassadors and chiefs of mission[edit]

  • William H. Hornibrook – Political appointee[2]
    • Title: Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: January 22, 1935
    • Presented credentials: May 4, 1935
    • Terminated mission: Left Tehran March 16, 1936

Note: The names of the chargés heading the Afghanistan mission between Hornibrook’s departure in 1936 and the arrival of Dreyfus in 1941 have not been recorded.

  • Louis G. Dreyfus, Jr. – Career FSO[2]
    • Title: Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: February 16, 1940
    • Presented credentials: May 19, 1941
    • Terminated mission: Superseded by establishment of legation in Kabul, July 25, 1942

Note: Legation Kabul was opened June 6, 1942 with Charles W. Thayer as Chargé d’Affaires ad interim.

  • Cornelius Van Hemert Engert – Career FSO
    • Title: Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: May 2, 1942
    • Presented credentials: July 2, 1942
    • Terminated mission: Left post August 17, 1945
  • Ely E. Palmer – Career FSO
    • Title: Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: February 9, 1945
    • Presented credentials: December 6, 1945
    • Terminated mission: Promoted to Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary

Note: During Palmer’s tenure as envoy, the Legation was elevated to Embassy status on June 5, 1948, when Palmer presented his credentials to the Afghan government.

  • Ely E. Palmer – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: May 6, 1948
    • Presented credentials: June 5, 1948
    • Terminated mission: Left post November 18, 1948
  • Louis G. Dreyfus, Jr. – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: April 21, 1949
    • Presented credentials: August 16, 1949
    • Terminated mission: Left post January 19, 1951
  • George Robert Merrell – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: April 19, 1951
    • Presented credentials: June 28, 1951
    • Terminated mission: Left post May 3, 1952
  • Angus I. Ward – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: June 27, 1952
    • Presented credentials: November 8, 1952
    • Terminated mission: Left post March 3, 1956
  • Sheldon T. Mills – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: March 28, 1956
    • Presented credentials: May 6, 1956
    • Terminated mission: Left post February 3, 1959
  • Henry A. Byroade – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: January 29, 1959
    • Presented credentials: March 21, 1959
    • Terminated mission: Left post January 19, 1962
  • John M. Steeves – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: February 7, 1962
    • Presented credentials: March 20, 1962
    • Terminated mission: Left post July 21, 1966
  • Robert G. Neumann – Political appointee
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: November 3, 1966
    • Presented credentials: February 19, 1967
    • Terminated mission: Left post September 10, 1973
  • Theodore L. Eliot, Jr. – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: September 20, 1973
    • Presented credentials: November 21, 1973
    • Terminated mission: Left post June 14, 1978
  • Adolph Dubs – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: June 27, 1978
    • Presented credentials: July 12, 1978
    • Terminated mission: Assassinated at post February 14, 1979
  • J. Bruce Amstutz – Career FSO
    • Title: Chargé d’Affaires a.i.
    • February 1979–February 1980
  • Hawthorne Q. Mills – Career FSO
    • Title: Chargé d’Affaires a.i.
    • February 1980–January 1982
  • Archer K. Blood – Career FSO
    • Title: Chargé d’Affaires a.i.
    • Nomination rejected by the Afghan government
  • Edward Hurwitz – Career FSO
    • Title: Chargé d’Affaires a.i.
    • 1983–1986

Note: Peter Tomsen served as Special Envoy to Afghanistan (to the Northern Alliance) 1989–1992.

Note: The U.S. Embassy Kabul was closed in January 1989. The Embassy was reopened January 17, 2002.[1]

  • James F. Dobbins – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador (in charge of reestablishing U.S. Embassy)
    • Served: December 2001–January 2002
  • Ryan Crocker – Career FSO
    • Title: Chargé d’Affaires a.i.
    • Appointed: January 17, 2002
    • Presented credentials: Unknown
    • Terminated mission: April 3, 2002
  • Robert Finn – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: March 21, 2002
    • Presented credentials: April 3, 2002
    • Terminated mission: Left post August 1, 2003
  • Zalmay Khalilzad – Political appointee
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: November 17, 2003
    • Presented credentials: November 28, 2003
    • Terminated mission: Left post June 20, 2005
  • Ronald E. Neumann – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: June 27, 2005
    • Presented credentials: August 1, 2005
    • Terminated mission: Left post April 10, 2007
  • William Braucher Wood – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: March 28, 2007
    • Presented credentials: April 16, 2007
    • Terminated mission: c. March 2009
  • Karl Eikenberry – Political appointee
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: April 3, 2009
    • Presented credentials: May 21, 2009
    • Terminated mission: July 25, 2011
  • Ryan Crocker – Career FSO[3][4]
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: July 7, 2009[5]
    • Presented credentials: July 25, 2011[6]
    • Terminated mission: July 13, 2012
  • James B. Cunningham
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: August 2012, Sworn in as ambassador August 12, 2012.
    • Presented credentials: August 13, 2012[7]
    • Terminated mission: Incumbent

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Afghanistan". United States Department of State. Retrieved 2011-07-17. 
  2. ^ a b Also accredited to Iran.
  3. ^ "Ryan Crocker Sworn in as New Ambassador to Afghanistan". ABC News Radio. Retrieved 2011-07-17. 
  4. ^ "Public Schedule for July 7, 2011". United States Department of State. Retrieved 2011-07-17. 
  5. ^ Sworn in as ambassador July 7, 2011. As of July 17, not yet acceded to post.
  6. ^ "Ambassador Crocker Presents Credentials". United States Department of State, U.S. Embassy Kabul. July 25, 2011. Retrieved July 25, 2011. 
  7. ^ "Ambassador James B. Cunningham Presents Credentials". August 13, 2012. Retrieved August 23, 2012. 

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]