Foreign Service Officer Resigns, Slams Trump Admin’s “Managerial Incompetence”, “Unapologetic Cruelty”

Published on August 10, 2019 by Athena Pallas

“The past three years have felt like the house is on fire. And not only is it on fire, but there is a man purposely lighting more fires,” said former Foreign Service officer Chuck Park, according to The Hill, whose resignation took effect this week, giving him the liberty to speak out against the Trump administration, which Park is now doing with a flourish. Park joined the Foreign Service, which operates under the State Department, in 2010 during the Obama administration, but has now resigned, indicating he could no longer stand to be part of what he calls the “Complacent State” or be part of an administration marked by an “unapologetic cruelty” that led to his “moral distress”.

Park decried the Trump administration’s “managerial incompetence”, citing the “disastrous” rollouts of certain policies and his experience of having President Trump’s impulsive tweets and statements completely undermine the established policy decisions it was his duty to convey to foreign officials. He also described such morally problematic efforts as Trump’s Muslim ban, Trump’s comments equivocating about white supremacists in Charlottesville, and the Trump administrations policies toward and treatment of immigrants as all contributing to his decision to resign. According to The Hill:

A former Foreign Service officer whose resignation took effect this week tore into President Trump on Friday evening, labeling his administration cruel and incompetent. “What’s different is kind of the naked unapologetic cruelty. That’s the first thing. The second thing is, you know, the sheer managerial incompetence of this administration. The rollout of the Muslim ban, that executive order, was disastrous,” Chuck Park said on CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360.” …“There is a slow buildup, and maybe I’ll call it moral distress, with each successive kind of tweet or action.” … Park also said he was frustrated by what he suggested was an erratic foreign policy in which prepared platforms would be reversed by Trump’s tweets. “As an example, a cable will contain talking points for the day, let’s say on trade, and I am tasked with memorizing those talking points and finding meetings with senior foreign officials and delivering dutifully those talking points,” he said. “And it is happening to me that, in a meeting with a foreign official, kind of mid-sentence, that official that I’m talking to will pick up their cell phone and point to a tweet from the president that directly contradicts what I’m saying in person.”

Park is certainly not alone among State Department officials in deciding to depart the Trump administration. Career diplomats have been leaving in droves and the isolationist Trump administration has been slow to fill even high level vacancies, including about 30 ambassadorships that remain unfilled. Many of the United States’ relationships with our allies have been harmed by the Trump administration being inconsistent, unilateral, and incompetent in diplomacy and trade negotiations.

Featured image via Wikimedia Commons.