The departure of Nikki Haley follows a long trail of high level functionaries falling off the way mostly disconcerted by intentions exhibited and policies followed by their mercurial political boss. Trump administration probably is the only one of its kind that is consistently losing personnel and fast wearing off its course. Once hailed an unusually bright comet, Nikki Haley is the latest casualty faced by the wayward American government. Her high profile assignment has made the impact of the blow severe and has widely embarrassed political supporters of the reigning cabal.
Nikki Haley is credited with rising high in politics as she served as Republican governor of South Carolina and was known to be an early and frequent critic of Trump. Her appointment to high profile job in the UN surprised many and Trump’s action was interpreted as extending an olive branch. Her performance in the UN was very aggressive and she mentioned: “It was a blessing to go into the UN with body armor every day and defend America” and followed her brief to the hilt.
Nikki Randhawa Haley is the daughter of immigrants from India and has married a white American, adopted his name and has converted to Christianity. She is one of the rising ethnic politicians who view international issues through the colouring of their ethnicity. During her two-term gubernatorial assignment in South Carolina she led the effort to remove the Confederate flag from the State Capitol grounds in 2015 after a mass shooting at a Charleston church. She has been rumoured often as a potential presidential candidate but shot down the speculation saying that she planned to campaign for Trump during his re-election campaign.
In the past however Ms. Haley was a frequent critic of Donald Trump during the 2016 campaign and endorsed two of his primary opponents, Senator Marco Rubio of Florida and Senator Ted Cruz of Texas. During the presidential campaign, she sharply criticised his demeanor and warned what it might mean for American diplomacy even arguing that his tendency to lash out at critics carried the potential of unleashing a world war.
She came to the UN without prior experience of foreign affairs but this position is famous for adding gloss to any political career. In the past Madeleine Albright was raised to the office of Secretary of State after serving a stint as US representative at the UN. At the UN Nikki Haley became an outspoken and often forceful representative and was often consulted by envoys to take guidance regarding haphazard policies initiated by Trump administration. She however did not shirk from expressing her own opinions on big policy issues such as Iran and North Korea.
It did not however take long for Nikki Haley to start disagreeing with Trump administration and she took the opportunity of criticising it in wake of an anonymous op-ed published in Washington Post last month. She wrote “I don’t agree with the president on everything.” “When there is disagreement, there is a right way and a wrong way to address it. I pick up the phone and call him or meet with him in person.”
She also developed differences with an equally aggressive personality, John Bolton who is the current national security advisor and had remained American representative in the UN. She confronted John Bolton when she announced participation of Trump in the session of United Nations Security Council devoted entirely to Iran. After European officials protested that this would reveal divisions in Western stance due to Trump pulling out of Iran nuclear deal, the White House broadened the theme to countering weapons of mass destruction.
Though John Bolton did not criticise her openly but he managed to shift the agenda.
She reportedly clashed with White House after saying the Trump administration would imminently impose new sanctions against Russia over its support for the regime of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria. White House tried to sidetrack her comments by stating that she spoke prematurely about the issue compelling her to retort: “With all due respect, I don’t get confused.”
Despite her differences Nikki Haley backed the views of President Trump on recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, an action inherently supported by Jewish Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law. She was also reported to be close to the president’s daughter Ivanka. Additionally, she supported Trump administration’s decision to withdraw from Iranian nuclear deal. She also shared American skepticism towards various UN agencies and is in the favour of leaving them.
The sudden announcement of her resignation stunned diplomats worldwide as she was seen as a staunch supporter of Trump administration. She was known to have swayed her mercurial boss on issues such as sanctions against Russia and resettlement of refugees. Being the first cabinet-level UN ambassador for a Republican administration since end of the Cold War, Nikki Haley conveyed the impression that she takes this position as a stepping stone for further political advancement, a prospect that Trump might have resented.