I guess this is breaking news on which I hope to have more to write later (I have a deadline on reporting Obama’s greenhouse-related announcements today), but I just confirmed that Elliott Abrams, Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Near East and North African Affairs since December 2002 and Deputy National Security Adviser for Global Democracy Strategy since 2005, will begin work as a Senior Fellow at the sparkling new Washington offices of the Council on Foreign Relations (less than block from his old office) in mid-February.
Abrams, the highest-ranking neo-conservative left in the Bush administration when it finally decamped last week, served, along with help from Dick Cheney’s office, as the bureaucratic foil for former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s efforts to inject some momentum into the Annapolis peace process; tried to persuade the Israelis to widen their 2006 war against Hezbollah to include Syria; and no doubt steadfastly encouraged the Olmert government to pursue its Gaza war as vigorously and as long as possible. To the extent that U.S. influence in the Middle East has diminished over the past six years, Abrams can claim a good share of the credit. And his strategy to spread democracy globally (especially in the Middle East) appears to have prospered in a similar fashion.
Perhaps he’ll be asked to take over Bill Kristol’s column at the Times.