Sustained standing ovation for Marie Yovanovich at Georgetown University where she accepted the Trainor Award for excellence in diplomacy. 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/dqFrrAj9Ox
— Agenthades (@Agenthades1) February 13, 2020
Look at that smile.
Courtesy of CNN:
Retired Ambassador Marie “Masha” Yovanovitch — a highly respected career diplomat who unwittingly became one of the central figures in the impeachment drama — warned about the degradation of the State Department and took veiled jabs at the Trump administration in her first public remarks since leaving the diplomatic service.
Speaking at an event at Georgetown University on Wednesday where she was honored for “Excellence in the Conduct of Diplomacy,” Yovanovitch called for a “vigorous Department of State” to regain its stature in the nation’s capital, warning that “right now the State Department is in trouble.”
The retired career foreign service officer, as she did in her testimony before the House during the impeachment inquiry, cautioned that the department was being “hollowed out” and helmed by “senior leaders (who) lack policy vision, moral clarity and leadership skills.”
“The policy process has been replaced by the decisions emanating from the top with little discussion,” Yovanovitch said Wednesday. “Vacancies at all levels go unfilled and officers are increasingly wondering whether it is safe to express concerns about policy, even behind closed doors.”
“We need to re-empower our diplomats to do their job. We can’t be afraid to share our expertise or challenge false assumptions,” Yovanovitch said. “Working off of facts is not the trademark of the deep state but of the deeply committed state in the words of Ambassador McFaul. Truth matters,” she added, referring to the former ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul.
Yovanovitch said the department needs “a coherent foreign policy,” one that is “principled, consistent and trustworthy.”
“To be blunt: An amoral, keep-’em-guessing foreign policy that substitutes threats, fear and confusion for trust cannot work over the long haul, especially in our social media-savvy, interconnected world,” Yovanovitch said. “At some point, the once-unthinkable will become the soon-inevitable: that our allies, who have as much right to act in their own self-interest as we do, will seek out more reliable partners, partners whose interests might not align well with ours.”
These are words that everybody needs to hear, not just those who may someday work for the State Department.
As citizens of this country we are kept safe by the skilled negotiations of diplomats working all around hte world.
A presidnet who does not repect, nor truly understand that, puts all of us in grave danger.
And she is right.
New alliances are being formed that not only do not include the United States but which actively shut us out.
It might take decades for us to earn the trust of foreign leaders and their diplomatic officials again.
In the meantime we are becoming increasingly vulnerable to all manner of attack, and our longtime allies will soon be nowhere to be found.