Who knows why, but this isn’t good.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s job running the State Department just got considerably more difficult. 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.
Then suddenly on Wednesday afternoon, Kennedy and three of his top officials resigned unexpectedly, four State Department officials confirmed. Assistant Secretary of State for Administration Joyce Anne Barr, Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs Michele Bond and Ambassador Gentry O. Smith, director of the Office of Foreign Missions, followed him out the door. All are career foreign service officers who have served under both Republican and Democratic administrations.
Suddenly? I can’t wait to hear this story. There’s two options. 1) Trump and co. fired everyone, or 2) these people left on their own… in a quite dramatic fashion. Either option doesn’t inspire confidence in Trump and his team.
“It’s the single biggest simultaneous departure of institutional memory that anyone can remember, and that’s incredibly difficult to replicate,” said David Wade, who served as State Department chief of staff under Secretary of State John Kerry. “Department expertise in security, management, administrative and consular positions in particular are very difficult to replicate and particularly difficult to find in the private sector.”
Several senior foreign service officers in the State Department’s regional bureaus have also left their posts or resigned since the election. But the emptying of leadership in the management bureaus is more disruptive because those offices need to be led by people who know the department and have experience running its complicated bureaucracies. There’s no easy way to replace that via the private sector, said Wade.
“Diplomatic security, consular affairs, there’s just not a corollary that exists outside the department, and you at least can afford a learning curve in these areas where issues can quickly become matters of life and death,” he said. “The muscle memory is critical. These retirements are a big loss. They leave a void. These are very difficult people to replace.”
This seems extremely dangerous. Trump needs to get his butt in gear. Yeah, that was an unfunny joke – he’s more likely to call these people “losers” and “sad” on Twitter.
State is where we needed the experienced bureaucracy the most. Without them, Tillerson will be like a tightrope walker with an inner ear infection. This bodes poorly for the next four years.
I wonder what would happen if there was just a walkout of civil servants. How long would it take for Trump to resign or be impeached? Or would he simply fire them all like air traffic controllers?
I can hear them now. “Liberal snowflakes endanger the country by QUITTING!! LOSERS!”
Wonder if we’ll get an AltStateDept Twitter handle out of this.
Regardless of what happens this is an almighty slap in the face for his lordship and to some extent a “Just say no” moment for the nation. As noted these are career foreign service officers, they take their work very seriously, to just walk out speaks volumes. Yet more proof that there is a limit and Trump is well beyond it.
CNN is reporting that the Trump people asked those State Department employees to leave. which is still plenty scary — an organization of that size and that vital to US interests being stripped of its senior management before a proper transition is done.
Brian hit it. The rise of the Altstate department. The second amendment is now making more sense to me. Who thought, a Russian tool backed by neo-nazis living in the White House.