Thursday, November 09, 2017

The Evisceration of a Thug.

Few have done it so well as Roger Cohen's op-ed dissection of Donald Trump in Der Spiegel.

Many of us tend to take Trump's insults to decency as they come, one at a time, but Cohen stitches them all together to paint a picture that's much darker and dangerous than we may perceive. It's a good read.

Meanwhile Foreign Policy's Max Boot writes that, while America may survive Trump, it will never again be the same.

One critical area in which Trump has already inflicted irreparable harm is the State Department where, by some reports, upwards of 60% of America's professional diplomats have already left, taking with them the department's "institutional memory." These are the people who make the place work. They know their counterparts in foreign capitals, who to call and how to reach them. They know what to do when things go wrong, how to fix what's broken, what worked and didn't work in the past, how things get done. Anyone who has ever worked in the management side of a large organization knows the type, the indispensable few.

Scores of senior diplomats, including 60 percent of career ambassadors, have left the department since the beginning of the year, when President Donald Trump took office, according to the letter. There are 74 top posts at State that remain vacant with no announced nominee.

“Were the U.S. military to face such a decapitation of its leadership ranks, I would expect a public outcry,” [Barbara Stephenson, president of the American Foreign Service Association] wrote.

It’s not just top leadership that is fleeing. New recruitment is falling dramatically as well, shrinking the pool for future talent. The number of applicants registering to take the Foreign Service Officer Test this year will be fewer than half the 17,000 who registered just two years ago, she wrote.

What they're seeing on the diplomatic front, as in other areas Trump is abandoning, is the Russians and the Chinese quick to exploit the vacuum.

When you lose that institutional memory it can take years, decades to rebuild and, by then, you may find yourself in a world radically changed. Trump has no grasp of how he's undermining America, now and for future administrations. 

1 comment:

Lorne said...

"Trump has no grasp of how he's undermining America, now and for future administrations."

And, I might add, Trump doesn't care. The demands of his ego are insatiable, and will brook no challenges.