Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is finally taking control of his State Department. Besieged with leaks as Obama-era holdovers have been retained, Tillerson is beginning to clean house. 100 senior Foreign Service Officers have already been forced out, with more anticipated to come. Disposed bureaucrats have taken their sob stories to the mainstream media about how Tillerson’s swamp draining has wronged them.
The New York Times released an article last week regarding the plight of career bureaucrats who are on their way out of the Trump administration. The bureaucrats do have their supporters – long-time Washington D.C. lawmakers who desperately want to maintain the status quo.
“The amount of talent leaving the State Department endangers the institution and undermines American leadership, security and interests around the world,” the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs said in a letter addressed to Sec. Tillerson.
“Even more troubling, the Department is reportedly planning to offer buyouts to reduce State’s numbers even further, seemingly for no other goal than to decrease the size of the Department’s personnel,” the committee said. “With the range of crises, war, and humanitarian disaster around the world, slashing our diplomatic corps is downright dangerous.”
U.S. Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) released a bipartisan letter addressed to Sec. Tillerson deriding the decision to purge the State Department as well.
“The State Department’s non-partisan Foreign Service and Civil Service career professionals represent a unique national asset that belongs to all Americans. They are America’s front line, promoting our safety, security and prosperity, often in difficult and dangerous places. While we support reasonable steps to improve the efficiency of the State Department, such efforts must be fully transparent, with the objective of enhancing, not diminishing, American diplomacy,” the Senators said.
The bureaucrats are sounding the alarm about the changes as well, as many of them complained to the Times themselves.
“The United States is at the center of every crisis around the world, and you simply cannot be effective if you don’t have assistant secretaries and ambassadors in place,” R. Nicholas Burns, former under secretary of state for President George W. Bush, said. “It shows a disdain for diplomacy.”
“These people either do not believe the U.S. should be a world leader, or they’re utterly incompetent,” former Qatar ambassador Dana Shell Smith told the Times. “Either way, having so many vacancies in essential places is a disaster waiting to happen.”
While the bureaucrats and their enablers believe that the sky is going to fall without a massive concentration of unaccountable officials in the State Department, Tillerson has remembered his administration’s mandate: Drain the Swamp. The only recourse of the swamp rats will be to cry to a dwindling audience.