If elected, Mr. Biden must get busy with many near-term actions: fighting the pandemic, fixing the economy, reestablishing the rule of law, restoring trust in government, etc. There must be a process to develop the fixes to the Constitution and the legal system to prevent such a hostile takeover of the government in the future.
Allow me to make a specific suggestion. Right now a sham process is going on to seat nominee Amy Coney Barrett on the Supreme Court. One possible way to prevent such abuses would be to legislate a timeline specifying when and how such nominations must be made by the president and considered by the Senate.
Arun Guha, Silver Spring
In his Oct. 9 op-ed, “Breaking the tools of U.S. foreign policy,” Josh Rogin rightly assessed some of the many challenges Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, if elected, would face on national security policy. Another key factor: staffing.
Mr. Biden should take two immediate steps once inaugurated. First, clean house and dismiss all Trump appointees, whether Senate-confirmed or not. The United States needs a fresh start if it is to regain credibility and reliability. Second, bring in professional diplomats. Under the Foreign Service Act, retired Foreign Service employees can be recalled into active service. There is a wealth of talent there.
From December 2016 through June 2020, the Senior Foreign Service shed 178 officers, many women and minorities, for a precipitous 18.5 percent loss, including 60 percent of the highest-ranking career officers. Related to that, a Biden administration can tap into existing talent at the State Department, delegating and empowering employees, many of whom have been marginalized or worse under the mismanagement, incompetence and vindictiveness of President Trump and his appointees. Many of these current and former career employees will be unknown to the American public but respected abroad.
Tapping into those two pools of talent with deep field experience and ready international contacts can give the new administration, if elected, a running start in reestablishing steady U.S. leadership with friends, partners and allies; standing up to autocrats; and injecting true strength when advocating the United States’ principles, values and morals.
Alexander Karagiannis, Falls Church
The writer is a retired Foreign Service officer.