The United States has lost 60% of its career ambassadors since January, according to the head of the labour union that represents US diplomats.
“Leadership ranks are being depleted at a dizzying speed,” Barbara Stephenson, head of the American Foreign Service Association (AFSA) chief, wrote.
Ms Stephenson, a former ambassador to Panama, says there has been a “decapitation” of top talent. The BBC has asked the Department of State for a comment.
“The rapid loss of so many senior officers has a serious, immediate, and tangible effect on the capacity of the United States to shape world events,” Ms Stephenson writes.
Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright – who was a staunch supporter of Hillary Clinton – told MSBNC on Wednesday that she is “deeply, deeply troubled” by the lack of staffing, “because you cannot be a major power in the world and not have a functioning diplomatic service”.
A year after President Donald Trump’s election, there are no nominees for scores of unfilled senior posts at the Department of State, according to the tracker by the Washington Post and Partnership for Public Service.
Last week Mr Trump was asked about the vacancies at the US foreign affairs ministry. “I’m the only one that matters,” he replied.