National Security is Threated By Not Filling Ambassadorships
Currently, more than 40 U.S. embassies around the world are without ambassadors, threatening national security, according to Seattle Times guest columnists Claudia Kennedy and Stephen A. Cheney.
National security should never be a partisan issue. During our years of service, we worked with diplomats appointed by Democratic and Republican presidents. The Senate has gone away from traditional cooperation along party lines and is holding up the confirmations of multiple nominees that are well qualified.
Recently, Democrats and Republicans have traded charges and countercharges about the long delays in confirming ambassadors. But there is no doubt that the problem stems from a polarized and broken Senate confirmation system. Many of the nominees for ambassador positions are career diplomats as opposed to political appointees. A start to dislodging the logjam would be to confirm those appointments quickly. That isn’t to say, of course, that the Senate shouldn’t move to confirm all of the nominees. Presidents of both parties have always appointed a mix of career foreign service personnel and political supporters to ambassadorships. But starting with the career diplomats might get things moving.
As Republicans and Democrats have said over the years, political differences end at our shores. It is time for Senate Republicans and Democrats alike to prove that these are more than empty words. It is time for them to revisit the oath of office they took when they were sworn in, and to faithfully discharge the duties of their office. It is time for them to approve our ambassadors and restore the stature of our foreign missions.
The opinions in this blog are those of Tom Knuppel