Antony Blinken, State Department

Biden administration slow rolling diplomats, ambassadors crippling US abroad

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9/26/2021 3:26:00 PM

Opinion | The Biden administration is taking forever to approve names for key ambassadorships at a time when America needs top diplomats around the world. By BrettBruen

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Alex Wong/Getty ImagesBecome an Insiderand start reading now.Secretary of State Antony Blinken took forever to advance a list of career diplomats set to take over ambassadorships.This has left a void of top diplomats abroad when the US needs them most.

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This is an opinion column. The thoughts expressed are those of the author.At a time when the United States desperately needs ambassadors abroad, it appears the Biden Administration is delaying the deployment of our nation's diplomats. According to senior officials I've spoken to at the State Department, Secretary Antony Blinken only this week advanced to the White House a long list of career diplomats set to take over ambassadorships. It took nine months for him to move forward a document that shouldn't have taken nine weeks. We desperately need ambassadors abroad — especially experienced ones.

These candidates for top jobs went through extremely rigorous background checks and were vetted by a committee of the State Department's most senior officials. The list also, according to people I've spoken to, was signed off by everyone below Blinken, including the Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman. Yet, they shared, he delayed and chose not to quickly advance the process and now none of these career officers are likely to arrive at an embassy before 2022.

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