Politics & Government

Is Haley “ready to go to war” at UN?

UN Ambassador-designate, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley listens while testifying on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017, at her confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
UN Ambassador-designate, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley listens while testifying on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017, at her confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. AP

Nikki Haley is still getting her feet wet at the United Nations, according to a new profile of the ambassador.

Politico reports that Haley suffered her first serious defeat in the Security Council on Tuesday, when a U.S.-backed resolution on Syrian chemical weapons was vetoed by Russia and China.

“If the ambitious former governor of South Carolina hoped that the U.N. would offer a relatively gentle introduction to international affairs, she must be profoundly disappointed,” writes Richard Gowan in Politico magazine.

The story depicts Haley occasionally having to improvise at the UN, without clear guidance from the administration of Donald Trump.

“It is rumored that when U.S. officials in New York originally looked to guidance from the National Security Council on what to say about Crimea, the answers were confused,” Politico says. “Haley apparently decided to stick with the previous administration’s line in the absence of any alternative.”

Back at the White House, the Trump administration didn’t seem to mind. White House spokesman Sean Spicer has pointed to her statements as proof the administration is “incredibly tough” on Moscow.

But the article also questions how closely Haley will get involved in humanitarian missions to Congo, Darfur or the Central African Republic.

“Is Haley ready to get into the operational details of military and relief efforts in such geopolitical backwaters?” Politico asks. “While the Security Council has held public meetings on African issues including CAR and Somalia since Haley arrived in New York, she has consistently sent other officials to take the U.S. chair.”

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