Thursday, August 10, 2017
The Trump administration hasn't bothered to fill a wide variety of key posts that are suddenly quite relevant. In other words, this isn't a series of vacancies the president can credibly blame on "Democratic obstructionism." No one has been confirmed to these positions because Trump hasn't yet sent a nominee for these posts to the Senate for consideration. There is, for example, currently no U.S. ambassador to South Korea. What happens when an administration, facing a burgeoning crisis, has an all-hands-on-deck moment and the president finds himself short on hands? The Washington Post maintains a helpful list tracking key Trump administration posts and their status, and perusing the database this morning, I found all kinds of relevant State Department offices awaiting a presidential nominee. Here are some of the more notable vacancies:
* Undersecretary for arms control and international security affairs
* Assistant secretary for intelligence and research
* Assistant secretary for arms control, verification, and compliance
* Assistant secretary for international security and nonproliferation affairs
* Assistant secretary for political-military affairs
* Assistant secretary for conflict and stabilization operations
* Assistant secretary for East Asian and Pacific affairs
* Special envoy for North Korea human rights issues
* Special representative of the president for nuclear non-proliferation
For each of these posts -- and this is just a partial list of positions in the State Department -- the Trump White House hasn't even nominated anyone.
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