The State Department is in disarray

GDPR

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If he does, who will replace him? Someone special from Don "Capone" Trump's menangerie? :cry:
At this point I would have no idea. The Trump administration does seem to have a habit of filling these arising vacancies from the ranks of the administration instead of from outside the government.

In other news, Trump went all 'L'état c'est moi and declared that vacancies in the State Department are by design, that there's some people that he doesn't like there but that none of it matters because he is the only person that matters. Right. There's this adage that personnel is policy, but the Trump administration can apparently function without crucial personnel - and possibly in violation of the law.

Trump on Unfilled Jobs:
 


GDPR

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Here's a fun twist! Thus far most of these vacant positions in State (and the rest of the federal government) have been held by officials in an "acting" capacity. Well, on the 16th of November things become more complicated. Some of these officials will no longer be able to fully function in an "acting" capacity, if function at all, because of federal law.

But by law, that arrangement can only be temporary. The Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998 specifies that “acting” officers can fill positions requiring confirmation for no more than 210 days. If the position is vacant at the start of a new Administration, an extension of 90 days is allowed, for a total of 300 days.

The 300 day period from Inauguration Day last January 20 will end on November 16, 2017. After that, certain acting officials will no longer be able to carry out their duties.

“If the acting officer remains in office and attempts to perform a nondelegable function or duty — one that a statute or regulation expressly assigns to that office — that action will ‘have no force or effect’,” according to a new brief from the Congressional Research Service.
The effect of this will be that the federal government (and therefore undoubtedly the State Department) will function even less well than it had been due to Trump's managerial failures.

Tired of winning yet?

https://fas.org/blogs/secrecy/2017/11/vacancies-act/
 

GDPR

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There is no denying that our leadership ranks are being depleted at a dizzying speed, due in part to the decision to slash promotion numbers by more than half. The Foreign Service officer corps at State has lost 60 percent of its Career Ambassadors since January. Ranks of Career Ministers, our three-star equivalents, are down from 33 to 19. The ranks of our two-star Minister Counselors have fallen from 431 right after Labor Day to 369 today—and are still falling.

These numbers are hard to square with the stated agenda of making State and the Foreign Service stronger. Were the U.S. military to face such a decapitation of its leadership ranks, I would expect a public outcry. Like the military, the Foreign Service recruits officers at entry level and grows them into seasoned leaders over decades. The talent being shown the door now is not only our top talent, but also talent that cannot be replicated overnight. The rapid loss of so many senior officers has a serious, immediate, and tangible effect on the capacity of the United States to shape world events.
It's absolutely insane what is being done to the State Department.

https://afsa-nfe2015.informz.net/informzdataservice/onlineversion/ind/bWFpbGluZ2luc3RhbmNlaWQ9NzEwMTE2MyZzdWJzY3JpYmVyaWQ9MTA4MzgxNjE0Mg==
 

GDPR

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Not content to merely decapitate and depopulate the State Department, the Trump administration now sees fit to appoint political figures to positions specifically created "to insulate the foreign service from political turbulence" and who do not seem qualified enough for the position.

The Trump administration has nominated an associate of Vice President Mike Pence for a top diplomatic role historically reserved for senior career diplomats, prompting fears President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson plan to further politicize American diplomacy.

Last month, Trump nominated Stephen Akard to be director general of the foreign service. Widely seen as one of the most prestigious jobs in the foreign service, and analogous to the chief of staff position of the military branches, the position was specifically designed to insulate the foreign service from political turbulence. Historically, the position has always gone to a senior foreign service officer who has served as an ambassador and who has decades of experience in the diplomatic corps.

(...)

“While Mr. Akard is technically eligible for the position, to confirm someone who had less than a decade in the Foreign Service would be like making a former Army Captain the Chief of Staff of the Army, the equivalent of a four-star general,” said the letter, sent to Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), chair and ranking member respectively of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
White House Taps Pence Associate to Run Foreign Service – Foreign Policy
 

valamhic

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At this point I would have no idea. The Trump administration does seem to have a habit of filling these arising vacancies from the ranks of the administration instead of from outside the government.

In other news, Trump went all 'L'état c'est moi and declared that vacancies in the State Department are by design, that there's some people that he doesn't like there but that none of it matters because he is the only person that matters. Right. There's this adage that personnel is policy, but the Trump administration can apparently function without crucial personnel - and possibly in violation of the law.

Trump on Unfilled Jobs:
He is filling the courts with conservative judges, that is what will count long term.
 

GDPR

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So, to sum up: An incompetent secretary of state has demoralized the diplomatic corps, demonstrated zero ability to reorganize the State Department beyond vacuous PowerPoint presentations, alienated Congress, alienated every foreign policy observer inside and outside the Beltway, and is, in essence, flying blind on all of the regions in which he has no experience.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/posteverything/wp/2017/11/20/why-it-would-be-nice-to-have-a-functioning-state-department-part-lvxii/?tid=ss_tw&utm_term=.002be7e0b41b

The incompetence of Tillerson (and therefore Trump, albeit not exclusively because of that) in handling the State Department is astounding. Is there anyone here who thinks Trump and Tillerson have not completely and inexcusably mishandled the State Department?
 

GDPR

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A group of about a dozen U.S. State Department officials have taken the unusual step of formally accusing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson of violating a federal law designed to stop foreign militaries from enlisting child soldiers, according to internal government documents reviewed by Reuters.
...Seriously.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-tillerson-childsoldiers/exclusive-state-dept-revolt-tillerson-accused-of-violating-u-s-law-on-child-soldiers-idUSKBN1DL0EA?feedType=RSS&feedName=topNews&utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=Social
 

GDPR

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Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright now also sounding the alarm how Trump is mishandling the State Department:

There is nothing normal about the current exodus. President Trump is aware of the situation and has made clear that he doesn’t care: “I’m the only one that matters,” he told Fox News.

(...)

Meanwhile, for reasons that make sense only to him, Tillerson has delayed filling many of the most important diplomatic posts in Washington and overseas. All too often, foreign officials have sought to engage the department at a high level only to find no one with whom they can speak.

The administration’s disdain for diplomacy would be alarming under any circumstances, but two factors make it worse. First, while the United States is tying a rope around its feet, our competitors are running ahead. Trump’s recent trip to Asia was considered by many a success because there were no obvious disasters, but that is hardly a reassuring standard by which to judge the performance of an American commander in chief. The fact is that on trade and climate change, the U.S. government is now irrelevant; on security issues, we are ineffective; and on the use of cybertools to undercut democracy, we have a president who believes Vladimir Putin.

Second, the damage being done to America’s diplomatic readiness is both intentional and long-term. The administration isn’t hurting the State Department by accident. Tillerson maintained a freeze on hiring long after most other Cabinet officials had stopped. The number of promotions has been cut in half and the quantity of incoming Foreign Service officers by more than two-thirds. He is effectively shutting down the State Department’s pipeline for new talent.
Trump's unsuitability for the office of president is on full display when it comes to his handling of the State Department. So too Tillerson's unsuitability to be Secretary of State. Both should go.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-national-security-emergency-were-not-talking-about/2017/11/29/9fddd7ba-d53b-11e7-a986-d0a9770d9a3e_story.html?utm_term=.d57dc0bd23c7
 

Betson

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Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright now also sounding the alarm how Trump is mishandling the State Department:



Trump's unsuitability for the office of president is on full display when it comes to his handling of the State Department. So too Tillerson's unsuitability to be Secretary of State. Both should go.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-national-security-emergency-were-not-talking-about/2017/11/29/9fddd7ba-d53b-11e7-a986-d0a9770d9a3e_story.html?utm_term=.d57dc0bd23c7
She would be very objective alright.
 

Betson

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I take it you've no issue with the substance, but rather only with the messenger?
When I click on the link they are asking me to sign in , I am not doing that. But given the source it is hardly going to be positive about Trump anyway.

There is a cold place in hell for anyone who criticizes the Donald.
 

GDPR

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When I click on the link they are asking me to sign in , I am not doing that. But given the source it is hardly going to be positive about Trump anyway.

There is a cold place in hell for anyone who criticizes the Donald.
I know, when you report on the facts it's going to be difficult to be positive about Trump. There's really nothing to be positive about Trump when it comes to the State Department though. He's been a complete and utter failure. Herbert Hoover seems to have been more successful combating the Great Depression than Trump has been at properly managing the State Department.
 

Betson

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I know, when you report on the facts it's going to be difficult to be positive about Trump. There's really nothing to be positive about Trump when it comes to the State Department though. He's been a complete and utter failure.
A failure in what way , in what materiel way are the US worse off in this department than they were under Obama/Kerry?
 

GDPR

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A failure in what way , in what materiel way are the US worse off in this department than they were under Obama/Kerry?
Have you read the thread? There's so many examples of how the State Department is being mishandled. Remind me again, what does Mattis say about not properly funding the State Department? What does that mean for him?
 

GDPR

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Yes , and I can see nothing to suggest the US is any worse off than it was last year or the years before.
You really don't think the US is worse off with a wholly dysfunctional State Department where decision-making has grown to a halt, where expertise is leaving the building at record numbers, where there's hardly any new influx of talent, where morale is at historic lows, where American diplomatic initiatives are undercut, where important positions have no dedicated officeholders, where those that are filling in cannot operate with the full-authority of those offices, where foreign actors don't even know how to approach the US anymore?

Do you really not recognize the clear ways in which this injures and reduces American soft power? Are you that blinded by your buying into Trump's cult of personality that you can't even recognize these things?
 

Betson

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You really don't think the US is worse off with a wholly dysfunctional State Department where decision-making has grown to a halt, where expertise is leaving the building at record numbers, where there's hardly any new influx of talent, where morale is at historic lows, where American diplomatic initiatives are undercut, where important positions have no dedicated officeholders, where foreign actors don't even know how to approach the US anymore?

Do you really not recognize the clear ways in which thus injures American soft power? Are you that blinded by your buying into Trump's cult of personality that you can't even recognize these things?
This is all hearsay and press gossip , what is the tangible proof that the US is suffering in any way since the Trump administration has taken over?
 

GDPR

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This is all hearsay and press gossip , what is the tangible proof that the US is suffering in any way since the Trump administration has taken over?
It's not hearsay and press gossip. It's all verified fact. 60% of career US ambassadors are gone. Years of expertise down the drain. How the ************************ are you this dense? How does one not recognize the clear cut fact that American soft power is diminished when one of the main organs generating such soft power is in disarray?
 

Betson

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It's not hearsay and press gossip. It's all verified fact. 60% of career US ambassadors are gone. Years of expertise down the drain. How the ************************ are you this dense?
Change of administration often means change of personal. Nothing wrong with that.

Democrats seem to have hard time getting around the fact that this administration want to put their own people in just like every other administration did. If these ambassadors etc are not alright or inline with current policy then it is better they go.
 

petaljam

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Change of administration often means change of personal. Nothing wrong with that.

Democrats seem to have hard time getting around the fact that this administration want to put their own people in just like every other administration did. If these ambassadors etc are not alright or inline with current policy then it is better they go.
If they were putting their own people in, you'd have a point.

But how you can ignore the problem with there being no official US ambassador in South Korea at the moment - to take just one example - is evidence of your own inability to acknowledge reality. Especially as the person serving as interim Chargé d'Affaires in the meantime is the former deputy Chief of Mission, who was of course named to that position under the Dems. The worst of both worlds for a Republican administration surely?
 


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