Thursday, January 26, 2017

What this means?

The Washington Post reports that at the State Department: "The entire senior level of management officials resigned Wednesday, part of an ongoing mass exodus of senior foreign service officers who don’t want to stick around for the Trump era. ... All are career foreign service officers who have served under both Republican and Democratic administrations."

Resigning State Department official Patrick Kennedy.
"President George W. Bush selected Kennedy for the role
in 2007 and Kennedy stayed on throughout
President Barack Obama's term." (source)
The officials, named and described in the article, may be resigning under pressure, and they may be resigning out of a principled objection to the new era in American international relations under Rex Tillerson, the almost-confirmed Secretary of State who has no diplomatic background or government experience.

The New York Post reported that the highest of these officials did not resign, but was fired. An article titled "Top State Dept. officials exit after Tillerson visit" reports: "A source close to the White House" is quoted as telling the Post: "Pat Kennedy was fired. He may be saving face and pretending that he resigned but he was let go. The poorly performing senior leaders at State will also be pushed out. You should expect other ‘resignations’ there, too."

Whatever the reason for the mass departures from State, one can only hope that their loss will send a message to the administration (unlikely though that is) and that at least some of them will become active in helping the public and maybe the political classes to resist the dangerous behavior of the administration.

The Washington Post article concludes:
"By itself, the sudden departure of the State Department’s entire senior management team is disruptive enough. But in the context of a president who railed against the U.S. foreign policy establishment during his campaign and secretary of state with no government experience, the vacancies are much more concerning.
"Tillerson’s job No. 1 must be to find qualified and experienced career officials to manage the State Department’s vital offices. His second job should be to reach out to and reassure a State Department workforce that is panicked about what the Trump administration means for them."

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