Trump Tells US Ambassadors ‘You’re Fired’ – Will Leave Nation Without Diplomats Worldwide
Ambassadors? We Don’t Need No Stinkin Ambassadors
In a shocking move, Donald Trump’s transition team issued a blanket edict that stands to cripple US Diplomatic efforts for years to come. This edict is to have our ambassadors removed from office and returned to the United States by the day that Trump is sworn in as President.
From the New York Times:
The mandate — issued “without exceptions,” according to a terse State Department cable sent on Dec. 23, diplomats who saw it said — threatens to leave the United States without Senate-confirmed envoys for months in critical nations like Germany, Canada and Britain.
For the current Ambassadors, it is now a mad scramble to handle loose ends, both professionally and personally. Many times an ambassador will have their family with them. Many are now seeking to secure housing in-nation, enabling their children to finish the school year. Others are seeking to transfer their children to a school stateside. Previously, the delay in handing over the embassies to their replacements has enabled for more time, giving a far smoother transition.
A Rough Transition
The abruptness, and the lack of a bridge from diplomat to replacement, is hurting continuing diplomatic efforts as well. It is traditional for a president to replace these ambassadors upon taking office. However, the nominations can take weeks, if not months, to be confirmed. Previously, the US diplomatic pool was kept in place until their replacements were confirmed. Not only does this maintain good diplomatic relations, but it enables the current ambassadors to impart critical knowledge. From introductions to the nations politicians to their evaluations of the reality on the ground, this system enables the smooth hand-off from one administration to the next.
Eliminating the Ambassadors months before their replacements can be brought onboard, international relations will suffer. From the South China Sea to Brexit, the list of issues or diplomats are dealing with is considerable. The wars across the Middle East, from Syria to Yemen also weigh heavily on foreign diplomacy. The cries of foul over Russian meddling in American politics, the irony of which being lost on the accusers, further escalates the pressure. Recall that the US is expelling 35 Russian diplomats. The ability for two governments to meet in an official capacity now is all but severed. With all of these conditions together, we now are hearing the echo of a previous time, World War I.
History Repeating Itself
While the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand is the event which began the chain that caused World War I, the entire war could have been avoided had diplomacy been in place. However, the Russian ambassador to Serbia died of a heart attack shortly after. Even today, Russia stands in support of various Slavic nations, maintaining a special relationship with Serbia. This left the most influential nation in the area without a voice, during a time of crisis. The Archduke himself was the loudest supporting for the Serbs. As a result, the two nations which needed the most to communicate, with the understanding of the needs for the Serbians, had no voice. Those who sought war had no counter-voice to call for moderation and diplomacy. With the fear of replacement, of old empires losing their status and power, the hawks became ever more certain of their resolve for conflict.
Today, the loss of our ambassadors occurs shortly after the assassination of the Russian Ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov, meaning that in a time of crisis, the US will have no voice of moderation to bring to the table. This is compounded with many blaming the US for the current state of the world. For students of history, the next domino is now in place, and we wait in baited breath to see what will fall next.
Cover photo by Gage Skidmore