Crocker is a 37-year veteran of the Foreign Service and spent virtually his whole career in the Middle East and South Asia. He was U.S. Chief of Mission to six countries: Lebanon, Kuwait, Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq. He is a Career Ambassador and was awarded the Medal of Freedom.
Does Crocker have the answer to Afghanistan? Well, no easy answer. In this essay for Newsweek, in which he recaps his career, Crocker says:
1) Don't expect what worked in Iraq to work in Afghanistan,
2) The Taliban and al Qaeda have strategic patience; the U.S. better get some, too.
3) The world, and the bad guys, won't allow the U.S. to walk away.
So no simple answer, even from Ryan Crocker. But his Newsweek essay is still worth reading.