Resignation of US ambassador to Estonia continues trend of dysfunctional foreign service

Resignation of US ambassador to Estonia continues trend of dysfunctional foreign service

The US Ambassador to Estonia, Jim Melville, becomes the latest career diplomat to resign his posting today as the Trump

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Photo: Associated Press

The US Ambassador to Estonia, Jim Melville, becomes the latest career diplomat to resign his posting today as the Trump administration continues to lose members of the foreign service.

The resignation comes as almost forty ambassador posts remain unfilled, with the State Department and White House having failed to agree on further nominations. Key allies such as Australia remain without a US ambassador and international organisations such as ASEAN and the OECD are lacking a permanent representative. While many major vacancies were filled late last month, they came over a year into the Trump administration. The situation is particularly dire when also considering the loss of 60% of career ambassadors, who are not considered to be political appointments.

The difficulty that Washington has faced in filling the remaining posts is largely seen as a consequence for an incoherent foreign policy that has seen the US insult traditional alliances while embracing countries such as North Korea and Russia. The resignation of hundreds of foreign service officials will continue to place the US at a policy disadvantage, amidst a highly unpredictable international policy environment.

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