Diplomat blasts Tillerson in stinging resignation letter

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from CNN,

A rising star at the State Department has written a blistering resignation letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, saying that under his leadership, the agency’s influence has withered and morale among staff has plummeted, in part because of the “stinging disrespect” shown by the Trump administration.
In the letter, obtained by CNN and first reported on by Foreign Policy, Elizabeth Shackelford wrote on November 7 that if Tillerson is unable to show the leadership required to lead the agency and reverse an exodus of diplomats like her, “I would humbly request that you follow me out the door.”

Shackelford, who served in South Sudan, Kenya and Poland, wrote that under Tillerson, the State Department is being “diminished” and its influence around the world undercut as the administration increasingly relies on the military at a time of perilous foreign policy challenges.

“We have ceded to the Pentagon our authority to drive US foreign policy,” Shackelford wrote, “at the behest of the White House, but to our detriment as a nation.”

The Pentagon is spending more on the continent and putting more boots on the ground, particularly in Somalia, where the administration hasn’t replaced the ambassador who resigned in September. And while military leaders are given the freedom to meet with Somali political leaders at the presidential palace, diplomats say their requests to do the same thing are rejected on security grounds.
The military’s ascendancy in US foreign policy making will only accelerate, Shackelford wrote, under Tillerson’s “redesign” of the department, which he is set to unveil more details about in an address to State Department staff on Tuesday.

Tillerson announced on his first day on the job that he’d be restructuring the oldest US government agency, later revealing that the administration aimed to pare it down by around 30%.

He has come under withering bipartisan criticism for the redesign, with senators expressing “deep reservations” about his staffing decisions and warning that the “high-level decapitation of leadership” at the State Department has “put our country in danger.”

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