Corridors of Power: Khalilzad Wants Out, Al-Hakim Comes to Washington

Editor's Note: "Corridors of Power" is a new weekly column written for World Politics Review by veteran foreign affairs correspondent Roland Flamini. Each week, Flamini will report news items drawn from his extensive travels and contacts with diplomats and foreign policy officials from governments around the world.

White House security adviser Stephen J.Hadley's suggestion in the leaked Iraq memo that Zalmay Khalilzad, the U.S. ambassador in Baghdad should be encouraged "to move into the background and let (Prime Minister) Nouri al-Maliki take more credit for positive developments" must have been good news for the Afghan-born American diplomat. What seems at first like a mild slap on the wrist for hogging the limelight is likely to improve his chances of getting the job his friends say he wants -- U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, where John Bolton's temporary appointment is nearing expiration with zero prospect of renewal by a Democrat-dominated congress.

Pre-memo, the view in Washington was that Khalilzad was needed where he was, and it was not in President Bush's interest to rock the boat when it comes to the U.S. leadership in Baghdad. But Khalilzad is not the type to sit meekly in the background; and if the American diplomatic effort in Iraq is to lower its profile his sharp political instincts may be more useful in New York.

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.