Donald Trump has revealed his plan to recall a large number of U.S. Ambassadors in some selected countries, and this decision has been criticized by political analysts who consider it a “risky move”.
Experts say this political decision will take effect once the President-elect takes office as America’s 45th president.
Trump wants all politically appointed ambassadors to be relieved of their roles, adding that there’ll be no exceptions once he is inaugurated.
According to a report from CNBC, the U.S. Congress will initiate procedures for selecting new ambassadors immediately Mr. President-elect takes office on 20 January.
Though the selection process is regarded as lengthy and cumbersome, analysts believe the 70-year-old’s obsession for bold foreign policy statements could be a reason for this recent revelation on Twitter.
According to Julianne Smith, Mr. Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. ambassadors will be counter-productive.
“You do not want to have a situation where countries are left without a direct link to the president for that long,” the Strategy and Statecraft Program Director said in an interview.
Julianne is a political analyst based in Washington D.C. He works at the Center for a New American Security.
Around the world, and mostly in the USA, all appointed ambassadors always follow a standard procedure which allows them to leave at the expiration of a president’s last tenure.
In some cases, the diplomats may choose to observe the officially recognized “grace period” which permits them to remain in their positions even weeks or months after a new president is sworn in.
Critics say Trump’s new policy shift isn’t welcome, and there’s a reason for that. For instance, the inauguration falls on a date which may affect diplomats if they have school-aged kids in countries with a different academic calendar.
In addition, a situation where an ambassador’s host country is going through crisis may require the diplomat to hang on and help calm down the waters.
“In a move to make a mark on Day One, Trump has signaled he will not allow any politically appointed ambassador to take this grace period,” a senior State Department official told NBC News.
Mr. President-elect says all the affected ambassadors must leave office on 20 January.
The listed countries are: Japan, China, Saudi Arabia, India and other European countries. And Trump says they will not be allowed to stay beyond the afternoon of his inauguration day.
Media reports confirm that over 80 countries and some international agencies will be facing a hard time choosing immediate successors to their current representatives once the President-elect takes office.
It will take a few months for new appointees to take office as ambassadors but the looming vacancy in those seats doesn’t mean the embassies will be without an administrator.
An ambassador is replaced with a deputy mission chief also known as a “chargé d’affaires” in such circumstances.
However, there is no substitute for the position of an ambassador who is always seen as the most senior career diplomat wherever they serve.
These diplomats are regarded as “the most versed in foreign policy” though this description falls short of those politically appointed diplomats – a reason why Trump is cleaning up his house.
The New York Times also spoke with several American diplomats who saw a cable saying much the same, CNBC wrote.
Julianne added in his statements: “If you’re a country where you have got some friction with the U.S. … you are going to find yourself without an interlocutor.
“Number twos are often very capable senior diplomats, but in times of crisis these countries want someone with a direct line to the president.
“Mixed signals are also dangerous. Ambassadors can calm down any anxiety.
“Without that, countries reading Twitter and press releases could be left guessing.”
Raffaello Pantucci, the director of international security studies at the Royal United Services Institute, said the need for ambassadors can’t be replaced with communications through the internet because a diplomat who shares a close relationship with the president of his host country can be more effective during difficult situations.
The London based analyst said: “Messages that you broadcast to the world are not the same as the ones you want to deliver in person.”
According to the CNBC report, Professor Scott Lucas, a U.S. foreign policy expert at England’s University of Birmingham, has also argued that discharging all ambassadors from their offices on day one will be “an absolutely risky move.”
“It’s very much, ‘My way or the highway,'” Lucas said. “He is saying, ‘We are in charge and we set the rules.’ But it’s done in not a very thought-out way.”