Just Asking...Answered

By Marc Ambinder

Re: Dennis Ross's stealth appointment as envoy to a nebulously defined Middle East region that does not include Iran. I speculated about internal dissension. But here's another angle: what if the administration wants to manage expectations? They don't want to appear to eager to engage Iran; they haven't finished their Iran policy review; it wouldn't make sense to formally introduce Ross without a policy directive and a clear plan in mind. On the other hand, the man needs to get to work. So: just announce that he's joining the team. And try to leave as minimal a footprint as possible. This explanation, which did not come from the administration, strikes me as more plausible.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2009/02/just-askinganswered/952/