Foreign Policy Digital

Finally, the U.S. Is Getting Some Diplomats in the Field

Thanks to rule changes and a new push from the Senate and Pompeo’s team, a flurry of nominees is being approved at last.

For over two years, dozens of senior State Department positions and ambassador posts sat empty, hamstringing the day-to-day work of U.S. diplomacy in an administration accused of sidelining career diplomats.

That is slowly, quietly changing as the Trump administration advances more nominees at the State Department, U.S. Agency for International Development, and smaller agencies dealing with foreign aid and development. Members of Congress—buoyed by recent rule changes in the Senate to expedite nominees—are responding in kind, pushing through a logjam of appointments, some of which had been stuck in place for over a year.

To some veteran diplomats, the flurry of activity offers a rare bit of good news and sorely needed course correction for President Donald Trump’s foreign-policy making machine, which has been hindered by depleted ranks and marginalized officials in acting capacities. But Democrats and other administration critics worry that some controversial nominees either held up in negotiations with the administration or

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