The Obama administration is under fire for doling out an unprecedented number of plum diplomatic postings to political appointees, many of which go to top dollar campaign contributors, sidelining career diplomats.
One former ambassador called it the selling of public offices. Another State Department vet blasted it as a patronage practice reflective “of banana republics, dictatorships and two-bit monarchies.”
Under previous administrations, Republican and Democrat alike, that rate fluctuated between 27 and 38 percent.
"It is a real concern for career diplomats," AFSA president Robert Silverman told AFP.
"We want a debate about qualifications, and not about political influence or donations."
The organization opted not to discuss specific cases but lists all the White House's "political" appointees to head foreign missions, including Britain, Canada, China, the European Union, Germany, Japan, Saudi Arabia and the United Nations.