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Saturday, October 1, 2016

Surprise! State Department Diplomats Don't Like Trump!

An ideological compadre sent me a link to story from Politico which I had missed in my daily scouring of the wild and wonderful world of the internet. The story, written by Nahal Toosi, has the frightening headline, "U.S. diplomats fear Trump will unleash cronies as ambassadors; Will he just appoint a buddy to schmooze with the Kremlin?" Oh, horrors! Read it for yourselves and you will quickly see that it is just a typical inside the beltway hatchet job on Trump.
America’s diplomats are shuddering at the notion that Donald Trump, if elected president, will send unqualified cronies around the world as ambassadors, exporting his bombastic style to sensitive jobs that represent the face of the United States. 
As the presidential election draws closer, many career diplomats are uncertain about their future should the Republican presidential nominee and his unorthodox foreign policy positions triumph. And while plenty of them are wary of how Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton — a former secretary of state who will owe a lot of favors — will shape her administration, Trump is by far the bigger unknown. 
"He probably has no idea what the foreign service is," lamented one person with deep knowledge of the U.S. diplomatic corps. "At least with her we know who half the people who will get these jobs will be. With him we have no idea."
The tension! The drama! American diplomats are shuddering! Canapés are falling! Drinks are spilling!

She goes on relaying the devastating news that,
The American Foreign Service Association, a non-partisan union representing U.S. diplomats, is agonizing over the topic. The group debated sending letters to the Clinton and Trump campaigns urging them to keep political appointments to a minimum, but now plans to wait until the election is over and approach whoever wins. Once the new Congress is sworn in, AFSA also will likely reach out to relevant committee chairmen and ranking members to make its case for giving preference in appointments to career diplomats.
Ah, yes, AFSA--AFSA is agonizing . . . if only.

In my 33 years at State I refused to join AFSA. A more worthless organization would be hard to imagine. It is hardly non-partisan as it signs up for every progressive scheme out there. AFSA was a prime mover of "diversity" at State; in the name of making life better for black FSOs, State, with AFSA's OK, boosted the number of white women. There that makes things better for black FSOs, eh?

The organization, as is true for the Foreign Service and the Civil Service, is overwhelmingly Democrat. AFSA, every time a new president comes in, sends its silly letter asking for the number of political appointees to be kept to a minimum. Incoming administrations pay no attention. More important, however, I see no mention in the article of how SecState Clinton "skillfully" handled Syria, Russia, Venezuela, Libya, Iraq, Iran, Egypt, etc. Nor do I see any mention of how her policies opened up some vacancies in our staff in Libya, and how she acquiesced in the Obama/Holder illegal covert war against the people of Mexico via "Fast and Furious." Anyhow, you get the drift. Pay no attention to articles such as this or to a letter signed by "senior diplomats" opposing Trump. I know almost all those people; some of them are fine, but nearly all of them are creatures of the beltway and the lush post-FS jobs that go with being such a creature. Ignore them.

I don't see many "Senior Diplomats" reacting to a "damning" report out in the UK on Libya. The parliamentary report confirms what any sentient being has known for a long time (here, for example): there was no masterplan for the intervention in Libya, the reasons behind it were defective, the intel was hopeless, and nobody really knew what the end game was to be. Read it. I see that our press is ignoring it. Sure doesn't look too good for ol' Ms We Came-We-Saw-He Died.

Move along! Nothing to see here!


  1. I am curious on your opinion of John Bolton. I'll say I have liked him, but that is a window of him filtered through his public persona. Trump has mentioned him for the SoS slot. While I would love to see our beloved Diplomad called into to SoS role, I would think that under sec for Latin America would be appropriate.

  2. About cronies as ambassadors, all I can think of is Jim Sasser (Bay-ill Clee-inton's Ambassador to Beijing), post-assignment trade dollar signs flashing in his eyes, being utterly unaware of some of Communist China's most egregious human rights violations.

  3. Has there ever been a modern administration during which DCM's did not have to carefully watch political appointee ambassadors?

  4. If Ms. Toosi doesn't like "unorthodox foreign policy positions" she must love the orthodox ones.

    Personally, when I think of bombing a country and arming Muslim swine there, it occurs to me that it's a good idea first to ask what problem am I trying to solve and what will "success" look like one week, two weeks, one month, and six months afterwards.

    This was not done in the case of Libya by Clinton so my approach would have to be classified as "unorthodox."

  5. A President can reasonably put his own people into key ambassadorial slots, simply because of the role they play in implementing policy. But an ambassadorship should not be used as a political candy bar.

    FWIW, the Department of Defense remains a bastion of sanity at the working level.

    1. "FWIW, the Department of Defense remains a bastion of sanity at the working level."

      And as has been moaned n' groaned over, many times since 1776 by "working level" warriors: "Lousy Wardroom Lousy Crew", We're long overdue for a complete overhaul of the alleged uniparty Wardroom -- the baby, bathwater, mickey mouse, and rotten'candy bars'too!

      On Watch~~~
      "Let's Roll"

  6. Matt, the Seventh ReaderOctober 3, 2016 at 8:09 AM

    Dear Dip:

    I have a god-daughter who is just beginning a career in the Foreign Service. I am not certain of her political world-view but she does not seem to be very leftists, despite her youth.

    Is there any advice you would give to someone in her situation? Her first assignment is in a nice (for now anyway) European country and she is the type who strives and succeeds. Beyond that, I could not give you more to make an assessment on. Naturally, I told her about your website and she has read your work.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    1. my humble advice: stay away from commonly accepted wisdom. keep an open mind and a healthy work-life balance. get out of the embassy bubble. if she is now doing her required consular tour look upon it as a way to help folks and to be of humble service. best of luck, jst, retired senior fso.

  7. i was an fso from shultz to clinton. count me as a deplorable.

  8. AFSA, is indeed, a worthless SJW-converged organization. I refused to join after I went to their "lunch" during A-100 and they leveled invective against a congressman who was working to try to get rid of pork and abuse of the taxpayers and talked about working to defeat his efforts. In my personal view, federal employees (myself included) should be ineligible to vote since it creates a perverse incentive structure to vote themselves money from the public treasury.