Picking an envoy

Word has it that two candidates are under consideration as the next US ambassador to Poland. One is a political appointee, the other a professional Foreign Service Officer. In this case, the administration would do well to choose the career diplomat.

Political appointees often bring special skills to a post, and there are some fine noncareer diplomats representing the US today. Mike Mansfield, to name but one.

As a general rule, however, the Soviet bloc countries are not the place to send envoys of limited diplomatic experience and strong partisan view whose reporting could fall short of the needed depth and objectivity.

From Eastern Europe, above all, the President needs professionals to see through the fog.

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