Soon after America achieved its independence, the US Department of State was formally and wisely established as the Department of Foreign Affairs by our very first Congress on July 27, 1789. In less than a year, President George Washington moved to appoint Thomas Jefferson as our nation’s first Secretary of State.
As the office of the historian at the US Department of State has noted, “The first Secretary of State, Thomas Jefferson, oversaw a small staff of one chief clerk, three other clerks, a translator, and a messenger and only maintained two diplomatic posts, in London and Paris, as well as 10 consular posts.” Notwithstanding this small staff, Jefferson would go on to successfully engage the world, negotiating a commercial treaty with Prussia and a consular convention with his beloved France.
Since Jefferson’s distinguished service as our nation’s top diplomat, the US Department of State has grown – with currently over 15,000 domestic and overseas employees and over 165 diplomatic posts across the globe. This expansion has made good sense for America – as its interests abroad have expanded in line with our nation’s status as a global superpower.
In the Republic of Armenia, the United States has maintained a formal diplomatic presence since February of 1992 – just three months after America recognized Armenia as an independent state. Over this period, the United States has had a number of distinguished individuals serve as ambassadors in Yerevan. Most notable among these diplomats was John Evans, who in 2006 was summarily terminated by President George W. Bush for acknowledging the Armenian Genocide.
Six months ago, I wrote about America’s Failure in Armenia. I highlighted the Armenian National Committee of America’s report card grade of an “F” to America’s diplomat at the United States Embassy in Yerevan, examining a broad and diverse set of 15 metrics. Since then, the shameful inaction has continued.
Lynne Tracy’s tenure in Yerevan has been marked by a shameful record of silence and inaction with respect to Azerbaijan and Turkey’s genocidal assault on Artsakh.
Lynne Tracy’s tenure in Yerevan has been marked by her silence in the face of Azerbaijan’s attacks against the sovereign borders of the Republic of Armenia in Syunik.
Lynne Tracy’s tenure in Yerevan has been marked by lack of concrete action to help return Armenian POWS. She believes that she has fulfilled her diplomatic duty by sharing a feeble statement from State Department spokesperson Ned Price calling “on both sides to urgently and peacefully resolve” the recent capture of six additional Armenian servicemen in Armenia proper.
Lynne Tracy seems to be more concerned with news about surfing rather than assaults on Armenia’s national sovereignty—a total wipeout.
It is long past time for Congress to call on the US Department of State to end Lynne Tracy’s failed tenure in Armenia and for America to place a diplomat in Yerevan who can address all the damage done since she was confirmed by the US Senate on January 2, 2019. As the title of this article notes, America does indeed need an Ambassador in Yerevan.