The US State Department is “enfeebled and sidelined” under President Trump, a former American diplomat acclaimed .
Nicholas Burns, served as a top diplomat under both Republican and Democratic regime, said this to the Los Angeles Times that Donald Trump’s foreign policy is “a radical separation from all president since World War ll”. “Trump is not strong on NATO, Russia, trade, climate, diplomacy,” stated Mr Burns, the former Under State Secretary for Political Affairs under President George Bush.
He buttressed: “United States is diminishing as a global leader.”
Since assuming office, President Trump has gone after an “America first” agenda that comprises shying away from different world commitments. This summer, for example, Mr Trump exited the US from the Paris climate accord – a landmark environmental accord to which up to 200 countries signed on.
He also turned a deaf ear to certifying Iran’s compliance in a historic nuclear agreement, and making threat to NATO member countries in paying more to fortify their defense.
Donald Trump also surprised diplomats early December when he identified Jerusalem as the capital of Israel – a decision the UN feels should only be arranged in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. On Thursday, huge amount of UN General Assembly, many US allies inclusive, voted for the reversal of President Trump’s decision.
Almost all ex United States ambassador to Israel told the New York Times that they did not agreed with the President’s conclusion. Former diplomat Elizabeth Shackelford had to resign soon thereafter, saying the US government had “failed to show devotion to promoting and safeguarding human rights and democracy”.
“In these demanding global period, we ought to be looking to regulate more diplomacy with more resources, not less with less,” she penned in her resignation letter. “…I am certain [the State Department] will withstand and eventually overcome this time of marginalization, but the end result will affect our global leadership and stance abroad for years to come.”
Several diplomats raised same worries about lack of resources at the State Department. Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, has applied a hiring stop at the Department, and recommended cutting his own budget by almost 30%. The Office of Management and Budget lately asked the Department to slash staffing by 8%.
60% of career ambassadors have exited the Department this year, and 74 senior positions remain vacant, as stated by Foreign Policy.
Democratic members of the House Foreign Relations Committee penned a letter to Mr Tillerson in November, advising him to revoke what they refer to as “intentional hollowing-out of our top diplomatic positions”.
Mr Burns sees these newest developments ironic. The President, he said, “requires a turgid State Department to apply” his strategy. Instead, he said, “State and the Foreign Service are being enfeebled and usually sidelined”.
Credit : LATimes