Former top Bush aide just expressed his concerns over the future of the State Department.
Last week, former Obama national security adviser Susan Rice delivered a stinging rebuke of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson an op-ed for depriving “the State Department of resources, talent and relevance.”
Rice said Trump has created a “world characterized by hostile states and lurking threats” rather than highlighting America’s “principled leadership” internationally. His policy, Rice argued, is a “nationalistic” strategy in which the U.S. can only win at the “expense” of others.
“Relinquishing the nation’s moral authority in these difficult times will only embolden rivals and weaken ourselves. It will make a mockery of the very idea of America first,” Rice wrote.
Rice took a jab at Trump’s plan, saying it “glaringly omits many traditional American priorities,” such as issues of human rights, poverty, higher education, combating viruses, climate change, LGBT rights, as well as “the value of promoting democracy and universal rights,”
“The United States’s strength has long rested not only on our unmatched military and economy, but also on the power of our ideals,” the former United States ambassador to the United Nations continued.
In November, Senators John McCain and Jeanne Shaheen wrote to Tillerson to express their concern over the multitude of consequences a “weakened” State Department could have as more international crises begin to unfold.
“Taken together, questionable management practices at the Department of State; the attitudes of some in the Administration on the value of diplomacy; declining morale, recruitment and retention; the lack of experienced leadership to further the strength and longevity of our nation’s diplomatic corps; and reports of American diplomacy becoming less effective paint a disturbing picture,” the bipartisan team wrote.
“America’s diplomatic power is being weakened internally as complex, global crises are growing externally,” they added.
“These decisions ultimately will not only degrade the United States’ leadership role in the world, but will also impact our constituents who have come to rely on the Foreign Service to … lead our diplomatic efforts to address a myriad of international challenges, including emerging nuclear crises, the threat of war and outbreaks of global pandemics,”
What’s Happening Now:
According to reports, former senior State Department official is raising concerns that the State Department is being “weakened” under President Trump.
In an interview, George W. Bush-era State Department official Nicholas Burns argued that “State and the Foreign Service are being weakened and often sidelined,” despite the Trump administration’s demands for a strong agency to execute the president’s foreign policy agenda.
Burns, who served under both Republican and Democratic administrations, claims that the president’s foreign policy strategy has left the United States with less power on the global stage.
Trump’s “policy of the last 12 months is a radical departure from every president since World War II,” Burns noted.
“Trump is weak on NATO, Russia, trade, climate, diplomacy. The U.S. is declining as a global leader,” he continued.
Burns’s comments reflect those of numerous top officials who warn the State Department is weakening under the leadership of Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who have yet to assign key positions including ambassadors and assistant secretaries responsible for regional policy.
H/T: The Hill