Of Appointments and James Warlick

When it comes to leadership succession – we are so used to reading about Heads-of-State and business leaders that we sort of ignore or overlook other newsworthy developments.

James Warlick, U.S. Co-Chair of the OSCE Minsk Group

James Warlick, U.S. Co-Chair of the OSCE Minsk Group

Today, we will be delving into the appointment of James Warlick, former U.S. Ambassador to Bulgaria, as the U.S. Co-Chair of the OSCE Minsk Group.

Yet first, what is OSCE? It stands for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe – the group is basically about the promotion of peace, security, justice and cooperation in Europe – it formally convened on July 1973 and its Final Act was signed on August 1975.

Since the collapse of most communist regimes in Eastern Europe and the USSR back in the 1990s – its membership grew and a new order for deeper understanding came into place.

Yet to date, among the issues that the OSCE really needs to address is the conflict on Nagorno-Karabakh – a disputed region of Azerbaijan, with Armenia as the other protagonist.

Can former Ambassador Warlick make the countries involved see eye-to-eye?

According to Secretary of State John Kerry’s press statement – Warlick, aside from serving as Ambassador to Bulgaria from 2009 to 2012, he recently served as Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan – and was also the Director of the Office of European Security and Political Affairs (EUR/RPM) from 2005 to 2006 among others.

How to hire people or analyze appointments – government or business.

Well, occupying a post is different from doing something significant. The former is just about day-to-day operations or what we could just call “maintenance” management – so, even if one serves as head of something for 10 years, it didn’t really do much to one’s growth. The latter is where the meat is – it’s where challenges are transformed into breakthroughs.

If Bulgaria lived in peace and cooperation with no real challenges during Warlick’s term – then his position was simply about passing time. On his service to Afghanistan, how has the Bilateral Security Agreement been doing so far? Hopefully well and good. How about as Director for the EUR/RPM? Isn’t Nagorno-Karabakh in this scope? So? I’m sure James Warlick was a good choice for the OSCE post but we need a solution to the long-standing conflict now – soon.

What’s your take?