Madeleine Albright: ‘All of a Sudden Diplomacy Is Being Degraded’

[ Originally published on this site as post ]

Madeleine Albright—who as secretary of state in the Clinton administration presided over one of the last diplomatic breakthroughs with North Korea, visiting Pyongyang to negotiate directly with Kim Jong Il—argued on Thursday that the organization she used to lead is being hollowed out just when the United States needs it most. Today, it confronts a North Korean nuclear-weapons program that, under Kim Jong Il’s son Kim Jong Un, has rapidly advanced to the point of directly threatening the United States.

“All of a sudden diplomacy is being degraded,” Albright said, in reference to the staff vacancies and proposed budget cuts that have characterized Rex Tillerson’s tenure so far as secretary of state. “I’m really troubled by how the State Department is