Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Nikki Haley: Pushing Back Hard on the UN

 

The United Nations is not on my list of favorite organizations. In fact, I’ve written an OP about leaving, if not disbanding, the institution. But now that Nikki Haley is the US ambassador to the United Nations, I’m having second thoughts.

In her short time in the UN, she has already ruffled some feathers. She’s proposed making cuts in key areas—“Everybody knows there’s fat at the UN. Everybody knows there’s fat in the peacekeeping missions. So that’s why we’re taking [a review of] each one.”

She has also proposed a focus on human rights in national security, and reforming the UN peacekeeping operations. She has said that peacekeeping missions have to be re-evaluated, and if they are not being managed well, countries may lose funding:

Asked why the UN should have an exit strategy for its peacekeeping missions, Haley said, ‘Because there should never be a time we don’t want to lift up countries. There should never be a time we don’t want to make them more independent. If we’re there all the time, all you’re doing is creating dependence.’ Haley also said that peacekeeping missions are ‘not fair to the American taxpayer.’

Especially noteworthy is Haley’s commitment to stop “Israel bashing.” After her speech at the annual American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference:

She called herself ‘a new sheriff in town’ and said she would end ‘Israel bashing’ at the U.N. On Wednesday, she alluded to ‘yet another ridiculously biased report attacking Israel’ that resulted in the resignation of Rima Khalaf, executive secretary of the U.N. Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia. The report, which said that Israel has ‘created an apartheid regime that dominates the Palestinian people as a whole,’ was also withdrawn.

She says the Israel bashing is less intense, and she also was able to influence the UN in not placing a former prime minister of the Palestinian Authority in a top level position.

In addition, she will also be keeping a close eye on Iran’s activities, and is prepared to act in response to violations.

Most recently Ambassador Haley and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson expressed different views on pursuing regime change in Syria. Ms. Haley indicated that a primary goal was to defeat ISIS and address Iranian influence in the area. But she also pointed to regime change as a necessity: “And then we’ve got to go and make sure that we actually see a leader that will protect his people. And clearly, Assad is not that person.”

In contrast, Rex Tillerson said, “Our priority is first the defeat of ISIS. Once we can eliminate the battle against ISIS, conclude that, and it is going quite well, then we hope to turn our attention to cease-fire agreements between the regime and opposition forces.In that regard, we are hopeful that we can work with Russia and use their influence to achieve areas of stabilization throughout Syria and create the conditions for a political process through Geneva in which we can engage all of the parties on the way forward, and it is through that political process that we believe the Syrian people will lawfully be able to decide the fate of Bashar al-Assad.”

National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster, when pressed to account for the difference between Haley and Tillerson, said the following:

What Ambassador Haley pointed out was, it’s very difficult to figure out how a political solution could result from the continuation of the Assad regime. We’re not saying that we are the ones who are going to effect that change. What we’re saying is, other countries have to ask themselves some hard questions. Russia should ask themselves … why are we supporting this murderous regime that is committing mass murder of its own population and using the most heinous weapons available?

So I am cautiously optimistic that Nikki Haley may actually make a difference in the United Nations. She is demonstrating leadership to the Western and pro-U.S. countries, which may influence them to back us in our more challenging actions and positions. The Middle East is also being put on notice that the U.S. will not cater to its anti-Israel rhetoric and activities. And U.N. members shouldn’t assume that standard operating procedures will continue without serious evaluation.

Still questions remain for me:

Will Ambassador Haley be able to make a lasting impact on the operations of the UN?

Will other countries join her in pressuring Russia and China to align with us?

Is the UN capable of becoming a different kind of organization that can make a difference in the world?

What steps need to be taken besides those that Haley is taking to transform the organization?

There are 58 comments.

  1. Front Seat Cat Member

    Yea Susan’s back! Happy Passover a little late. I agree – I like this Nikki – what a difference in 3 months on the world stage from the last lackluster group. It’s about time the UN heard some truth, like let’s help our allies and question the trouble makers.

    • #1
    • April 16, 2017, at 3:08 PM PST
    • 10 likes
  2. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Front Seat Cat (View Comment):
    Yea Susan’s back! Happy Passover a little late. I agree – I like this Nikki – what a difference in 3 months on the world stage from the last lackluster group. It’s about time the UN heard some truth, like let’s help our allies and question the trouble makers.

    Thanks, FSC. Yes, I really hope she can make a difference. As long as the MSM keeps telling us what she’s up to, it puts pressure on other countries, inside the UN and outside.

    • #2
    • April 16, 2017, at 3:16 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  3. Percival Thatcher

    For good and for ill (but mostly for ill) the UN is what it is.

    Even so, Haley is doing a bang-up job.

    • #3
    • April 16, 2017, at 3:45 PM PST
    • 11 likes
  4. Trink Coolidge

    Susan Quinn:“She is demonstrating leadership to the Western and pro-U.S. countries, which may influence them to back us in our more challenging actions and positions. The Middle East is also being put on notice that the U.S. will not cater to its anti-Israel rhetoric and activities. And U.N. members shouldn’t assume that standard operating procedures will continue without serious evaluation.”

    Still questions remain for me:

    Will Ambassador Haley be able to make a lasting impact on the operations of the UN?

    Yep! She’s just what this organization needs and these times call for.

    • #4
    • April 16, 2017, at 3:48 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  5. James Gawron Thatcher

    Susan,

    Nikki has made all the difference in the world. The U.N. is alive like it hasn’t been in 50 years. A brain-dead bureaucracy that glosses over the difference between tyranny and liberty should be disbanded. If the U.N. wants to continue it should welcome Nikki’s input. To call her a breath of fresh air is an understatement.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #5
    • April 16, 2017, at 4:12 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  6. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    James Gawron (View Comment):
    If the U.N. wants to continue it should welcome Nikki’s input. To call her a breath of fresh air is an understatement.

    I completely agree, Jim! I sure would like to see more of our allies come on board. Do you foresee some joining in? How about Theresa May?

    • #6
    • April 16, 2017, at 4:26 PM PST
    • Like
  7. Zafar Member

    From Foreign Policy:

    In her first major U.N. test as a negotiator, Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, gave her Security Council counterparts an ultimatum: Trim 1,500 troops from the U.N.’s largest peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo or the United States would withhold its support for a resolution extending the mandate of 17,000-strong mission, a move that could have imperiled the U.N.’s largest peacekeeping operation, according to three diplomatic sources familiar with the threat….

    The Security Council — fretting that an abrupt draw-down would create a security vacuum in a country roiled by violence ahead of presidential elections early next year — called her bluff, betting that the United States would not want the blame for cutting and running from a country in chaos. They were right. During weeks of closed-door Security Council negotiations that left it isolated, Washington scaled back its demand, agreeing to shrink the mission by fewer than 370 troops.

    …Washington will be able to sell it as an even larger cut because the mission is authorized to deploy 19,815 troops, three thousand more than it actually has on the ground. The resolution…also calls on the U.N. chief to conduct a strategic review of the mission with an eye towards pushing for further cuts after the election. And it includes a provision making the case for sending underperforming peacekeeping units home, a key U.S. demand.

    • #7
    • April 16, 2017, at 4:51 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  8. Daniel Brass Inactive

    I am very excited about the job Mrs Haley is doing at the UN. I tell my daughter all the time one of the most satisfying things about when we elect our first woman president is that it is going to be Nikki Haley, a republican. Book it in 2024.

    • #8
    • April 16, 2017, at 4:58 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  9. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Zafar (View Comment):
    The Security Council — fretting that an abrupt draw-down would create a security vacuum in a country roiled by violence ahead of presidential elections early next year — called her bluff, betting that the United States would not want the blame for cutting and running from a country in chaos. They were right. During weeks of closed-door Security Council negotiations that left it isolated, Washington scaled back its demand, agreeing to shrink the mission by fewer than 370 troops.

    You win some, you lose some, and ultimately reviews will be conducted and cuts made. Thanks, Zafar.

    • #9
    • April 16, 2017, at 5:05 PM PST
    • 1 like
  10. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Daniel Brass (View Comment):
    I am very excited about the job Mrs Haley is doing at the UN. I tell my daughter all the time one of the most satisfying things about when we elect our first woman president is that it is going to be Nikki Haley, a republican. Book it in 2024.

    Oooh, I like it! I’m certainly going to keep an eye on her. I forgot to mention in the post that she called out Russia on their response to Syria’s chemical attack.

    • #10
    • April 16, 2017, at 5:06 PM PST
    • 1 like
  11. JcTPatriot Inactive

    I’ve said it before, but I feel like this is one of the great triumphs of the Trump Administration. I didn’t feel Nikki was that wonderful of a Governor, but now we know it was because she was just waiting to take her life’s role: U. N. Ambassador.

    Definitely the best since Jeane Kirkpatrick. Yes, better than John Bolton! John has been great since he left, but unremarkable while he was there.

    • #11
    • April 16, 2017, at 5:15 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  12. Slow on the uptake Thatcher

    Susan Quinn: But now that Nikki Haley is the US ambassador to the United Nations, I’m having second thoughts.

    She will not be there forever, and if she DOES make a difference now, absent the power in Prov. 21:1 it will just go back to normal when she leaves.

    Also, not at all related to your OP, but I don’t want a one-world government.

    • #12
    • April 16, 2017, at 5:21 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  13. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Chuckles (View Comment):
    She will not be there forever, and if she DOES make a difference now, absent the power in Prov. 21:1 it will just go back to normal when she leaves.

    Also, not at all related to your OP, but I don’t want a one-world government

    I’m more optimistic than you are for a number of reasons, Chuckles. First, she has made a real dent in the status quo, and there is no sign that she will be letting up any time soon. Second, I think other countries who are fed up with the fecklessness of the UN will step up and speak up. Third, we have no idea how long she will be in that position and how much momentum she will achieve. Fourth, the next ambassador can be picked to keep the ball rolling; it will just require some careful planning. And fifth, the US public will laud her accomplishments and expect her work to continue.

    I do agree with your comment about not wanting a one-world government. It’s a ridiculous and impossible goal.

    • #13
    • April 16, 2017, at 6:14 PM PST
    • 1 like
  14. Quake Voter Inactive

    Well, she is politically smart, has star power (and sex appeal) and is a gambler. Accepting the UN spot when Giuliani, Flynn, David Clarke and Duncan Hunter were on the top of many lists for many security-related portfolios was pretty daring.

    I’m not a fanboy (yet) but, man, can Haley collect fanboys on the center right. She also knows how to collect the right enemies on the left domestically and internationally. Not much of the “Well, I think that our country does plenty of killing too” rhetoric coming from the White House these days.

    Haley seems to understand, whatever The Donald’s reckless rhetoric may have been, that the president is basically more patriotic by temperament, and a bigger believer in American exceptionalism, than many of his critics who opportunistically adopt these stances.

    Honestly, I am astonished at how the foreign policy team of the Trump administration is firming up within the first 100 days.

    Much of my thanks goes to the first person who started to right the Trump ship, Ms. Haley.

    • #14
    • April 16, 2017, at 6:23 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  15. Quake Voter Inactive

    Zafar (View Comment):
    From Foreign Policy:

    In her first major U.N. test as a negotiator, Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, gave her Security Council counterparts an ultimatum: Trim 1,500 troops from the U.N.’s largest peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo or the United States would withhold its support for a resolution extending the mandate of 17,000-strong mission, a move that could have imperiled the U.N.’s largest peacekeeping operation, according to three diplomatic sources familiar with the threat….

    The Security Council — fretting that an abrupt draw-down would create a security vacuum in a country roiled by violence ahead of presidential elections early next year — called her bluff, betting that the United States would not want the blame for cutting and running from a country in chaos. They were right. During weeks of closed-door Security Council negotiations that left it isolated, Washington scaled back its demand, agreeing to shrink the mission by fewer than 370 troops.

    …Washington will be able to sell it as an even larger cut because the mission is authorized to deploy 19,815 troops, three thousand more than it actually has on the ground. The resolution…also calls on the U.N. chief to conduct a strategic review of the mission with an eye towards pushing for further cuts after the election. And it includes a provision making the case for sending underperforming peacekeeping units home, a key U.S. demand.

    I thought Dag Hammarskjold was going to take care of this one.

    • #15
    • April 16, 2017, at 6:38 PM PST
    • Like
  16. EHerring Coolidge

    JcTPatriot (View Comment):
    I’ve said it before, but I feel like this is one of the great triumphs of the Trump Administration. I didn’t feel Nikki was that wonderful of a Governor, but now we know it was because she was just waiting to take her life’s role: U. N. Ambassador.

    Definitely the best since Jeane Kirkpatrick. Yes, better than John Bolton! John has been great since he left, but unremarkable while he was there.

    As governor, she had to fight the good ole boys who were out to get her.

    • #16
    • April 16, 2017, at 6:41 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  17. Slow on the uptake Thatcher

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Chuckles (View Comment):
    She will not be there forever, and if she DOES make a difference now, absent the power in Prov. 21:1 it will just go back to normal when she leaves.

    Also, not at all related to your OP, but I don’t want a one-world government

    I’m more optimistic than you are for a number of reasons, Chuckles. First, she has made a real dent in the status quo, and there is no sign that she will be letting up any time soon. Second, I think other countries who are fed up with the fecklessness of the UN will step up and speak up. Third, we have no idea how long she will be in that position and how much momentum she will achieve. Fourth, the next ambassador can be picked to keep the ball rolling; it will just require some careful planning. And fifth, the US public will laud her accomplishments and expect her work to continue.

    I do agree with your comment about not wanting a one-world government. It’s a ridiculous and impossible goal.

    You know what? I will be delighted if I can some day say “Susan Quinn, you were right!”

    But for now, the only one of your five points on which we are as one is the third.

    • #17
    • April 16, 2017, at 7:17 PM PST
    • 1 like
  18. The Reticulator Member

    It would be interesting to hear her response after listening to the @jeromedanner interview with John Zmirak about using Switzerland as a model for how to deal with Syria.

    • #18
    • April 16, 2017, at 7:49 PM PST
    • 1 like
  19. Profile Photo Member

    I don’t know if she can make any lasting changes- the rot is too deep. But this- this is one of my favorite things ever, and I will always be a fan:’

    “Haley rejects closed-door SecurityCouncil meeting on Syria

    United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley on Friday categorically rejected Bolivia’s request for a closed-door meeting of the Security Council to discuss a U.S. missile strike on Syria.

    “The United States, as president of the Council this month, decided the session would be held in the open,” Haley said in a statement. “Any country that chooses to defend the atrocities of the Syrian regime will have to do so in full public view, for all the world to hear.”

    • #19
    • April 16, 2017, at 8:18 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  20. Zafar Member

    Good politics – if Russia wants to compromise it will need to do so in public.

    But otoh – Assad’s regime is the only actor in Syria that protects the Christian minority. How will the US justify taking him down if it brings disaster onto the remaining Christians in Syria? That’s what happened to Christians in Iraq when Saddam was removed.

    • #20
    • April 16, 2017, at 8:56 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  21. The Reticulator Member

    Zafar (View Comment):
    Good politics – if Russia wants to compromise it will need to do so in public.

    But otoh – Assad’s regime is the only actor in Syria that protects the Christian minority. How will the US justify taking him down if it brings disaster onto the remaining Christians in Syria? That’s what happened to Christians in Iraq when Saddam was removed.

    That is one of the things that @jeromedanner‘s interviewee said could be worked out satisfactorily only through a Swiss-type arrangement.

    • #21
    • April 16, 2017, at 9:48 PM PST
    • Like
  22. Concretevol Thatcher

    Susan Quinn:Still questions remain for me:

    Will Ambassador Haley be able to make a lasting impact on the operations of the UN?

    No, probably not. They all know they can wait her out and there is too much momentum in that large of an organization.

    Will other countries join her in pressuring Russia and China to align with us?

    Russia/China vs the US are basically the two sides at the UN. They won’t align with us except on very temporary issues.

    Is the UN capable of becoming a different kind of organization that can make a difference in the world?

    No, it is too large and too corrupt to be changed at this point….especially not in 4 or 8 years. If you actually got a reformer in as UN Secretary General maybe but even then I doubt it.

    What steps need to be taken besides those that Haley is taking to transform the organization?

    If anything (I prefer pulling out and kicking them out of the US) use our funding as a whip to correct the most egregious behavior.

    • #22
    • April 17, 2017, at 4:25 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  23. I Walton Member

    The UN needs to know that we’d just as soon see it vanish. It is an overpaid instrument for patronage and might work in positive directions if the Secretariat and specialized agency parasites know that their cushy jobs hang by a thread. As to the comment to first defeat ISIS then turn to regime change, I can’t imagine a better way to assure that Assad and the Russians not cooperate against ISIS. Tillerson is right. Defeat ISIS then try to help fill the vacuum with something other than Iran.

    • #23
    • April 17, 2017, at 4:31 AM PST
    • 1 like
  24. Quake Voter Inactive

    The Reticulator (View Comment):
    That is one of the things that @jeromedanner‘s interviewee said could be worked out satisfactorily only through a Swiss-type arrangement.

    Perhaps if the Syrians had a 700 year tradition of direct local democracy and federalism, a defensive martial ethic and an economy producing a per capita GDP of $90,000 per year.

    It’s politically incorrect, but Swiss-type arrangements work for Swiss-type people.

    • #24
    • April 17, 2017, at 4:50 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  25. Zafar Member

    Quake Voter (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):
    That is one of the things that @jeromedanner‘s interviewee said could be worked out satisfactorily only through a Swiss-type arrangement.

    Perhaps if the Syrians had a 700 year tradition of direct local democracy and federalism, a defensive martial ethic and an economy producing a per capita GDP of $90,000 per year.

    It’s politically incorrect, but Swiss-type arrangements work for Swiss-type people.

    Switzerland was created from the bottom up – with that initial proclamation by the three forest Cantons (Uri, Schwyz and Unterwalden) in 1291 took advantage of the death of a Hapsburg emperor to edge out from the empire.

    It took a while to reach a stable equilibrium – and only took on it’s core current geography and political stance (neutrality) because it was defeated by France in 1515 and that was one outcome.

    Meaning for good or for ill, it didn’t just happen from good intentions and clean living.

    (People say the same thing about Kashmir because mountains, I guess, which is also bemusing.)

    • #25
    • April 17, 2017, at 5:00 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  26. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Quake Voter (View Comment):
    Haley seems to understand, whatever The Donald’s reckless rhetoric may have been, that the president is basically more patriotic by temperament, and a bigger believer in American exceptionalism, than many of his critics who opportunistically adopt these stances.

    I think you’ve hit on something here, Quake. She does see through a lot of the BS, and draws her conclusions from what she sees rather than what others say. I also kind of liked that she suggested regime change (although we don’t know for sure that she meant WE should lead it), so she has a fearlessness that I respect. Time will tell.

    • #26
    • April 17, 2017, at 5:53 AM PST
    • 1 like
  27. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Zafar (View Comment):
    But otoh – Assad’s regime is the only actor in Syria that protects the Christian minority.

    Are you sure that’s still his policy, Zafar? I had the impression that Assad would kill anyone in his way, and at this point I’m not clear which side the Christians are on.

    • #27
    • April 17, 2017, at 5:57 AM PST
    • Like
  28. Quake Voter Inactive

    Zafar (View Comment):

    Quake Voter (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):
    That is one of the things that @jeromedanner‘s interviewee said could be worked out satisfactorily only through a Swiss-type arrangement.

    Perhaps if the Syrians had a 700 year tradition of direct local democracy and federalism, a defensive martial ethic and an economy producing a per capita GDP of $90,000 per year.

    It’s politically incorrect, but Swiss-type arrangements work for Swiss-type people.

    Switzerland was created from the bottom up – with that initial proclamation by the three forest Cantons (Uri, Schwyz and Unterwalden) in 1291 took advantage of the death of a Hapsburg emperor to edge out from the empire.

    It took a while to reach a stable equilibrium – and only took on it’s core current geography and political stance (neutrality) because it was defeated by France in 1515 and that was one outcome.

    Meaning for good or for ill, it didn’t just happen from good intentions and clean living.

    (People say the same thing about Kashmir because mountains, I guess, which is also bemusing.)

    Well Zafar, I think I have a broader conception of “Swiss-type people”; one that is the result of centuries of Swiss political, economic, moral and grounded philosophic achievement. Not really emphasizing the Swiss caricature (leave that to Harry Lime).

    You do hit on the crucial aspect — the bottom up creation of national cultures. Otherwise, we could just pick the lectureboard economic and political arrangements we prefer and overlay them on peoples … and be successful.

    Plenty of unsuccessful attempts, of course.

    • #28
    • April 17, 2017, at 6:05 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  29. The Reticulator Member

    Quake Voter (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):
    That is one of the things that @jeromedanner‘s interviewee said could be worked out satisfactorily only through a Swiss-type arrangement.

    Perhaps if the Syrians had a 700 year tradition of direct local democracy and federalism, a defensive martial ethic and an economy producing a per capita GDP of $90,000 per year.

    It’s politically incorrect, but Swiss-type arrangements work for Swiss-type people.

    Why do you think the high GDP is needed for this to work? The United States had a decentralized government under a much lower GDP than it has now. In fact, it was more decentralized when its GDP was lower.

    And the United States had a decentralized government back when local elites held sway in a way they no longer did by, say, the 1830s, when local government had become more democratic.

    If we are going to end up imposing our will on Syria for a while, why not impose some decentralization?

    • #29
    • April 17, 2017, at 6:56 AM PST
    • Like
  30. Zafar Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):
    But otoh – Assad’s regime is the only actor in Syria that protects the Christian minority.

    Are you sure that’s still his policy, Zafar? I had the impression that Assad would kill anyone in his way, and at this point I’m not clear which side the Christians are on.

    He doesn’t care if they’re Christian or not – and as someone who grew up a minority I can affirm that this is, all else being equal, a slam dunk.

    • #30
    • April 17, 2017, at 8:05 AM PST
    • 1 like