For those of you wondering what President Trump meant by suggesting that Ambassador Marie Yavanovitch brought mayhem wherever she found herself posted, the answer pans out as anything but the truth. Somalia, for example, was her first overseas posting and occurred after the crippling famine of the 1980s and the opening of civil war in the 1990s. She was in her 20s and the military equivalent of a lieutenant or perhaps a captain.

Ms. Yavanovitch was not alone over there. The U.S., at one point, committed nearly 25,000 soldiers/marines to keep Somalia’s warlords at bay, so as to prevent the starvation of 3 million Somalis. If I follow the president’s reasoning (that her presence there directly led to mission failure) then unless she was vested with powers far above her pay grade, everyone in the Department of State and in the U.S. military who served there was equally responsible for Somalia’s failed state status. This is an irresponsible bombast at its best.

The ambassador has served in seven countries across her career, five of which were designated hardship posts before she was posted to them.

The question that comes to mind is whether there is anything that Trump can offer up as similar service under similar conditions. Also of note is the feckless lack of courage on the part of Republicans to at least treat these public servants with a degree of respect due to those who serve the nation.


Joseph Fischer, LTC, U.S. Army (retired),


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