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Biden must build US diplomacy back better

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In January, Joe Biden will take charge of an executive branch left in woeful disrepair. Practically every important federal institution has been scorched by four years of sustained assault by his predecessor ― none more so than the State Department.

President Donald Trump has damaged American diplomacy in word and deed. His secretaries of state, first Rex Tillerson and then Mike Pompeo, have damaged the department deeply. Their open hostility toward career foreign affairs professionals has led to an exodus of talent, leaving important roles either unfilled or, worse, manned by unqualified political appointees.

As a result, morale in the department has plummeted, as has its prestige abroad. The Colombian ambassador to Washington was caught on tape last year lamenting that "The U.S. State Department, which used to be important, is destroyed, it doesn't exist." He might've been speaking for America's allies and enemies alike.

Trump has also accelerated the trend, already conspicuous during President Barack Obama's administration, of conducting foreign policy........

© The Korea Times

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