Degnan is emblematic of the new breed of post-Cold War American diplomats (using the term in the formal sense): she doesn’t speak the local languages, in her case neither Georgian nor Russian, though her website states she’s “learning basic Georgian,” no doubt as in “take my bags” and “do what I say or you’re fired.” Her academic training is in journalism and law, not international relations, history, languages or Caucasus area studies. What distinguishes the model is its unbridled entitlement and universal contempt for other “inferior” nations, cultures and peoples.
Her comments follow, but to understand her and her type the next two paragraphs from her site are useful :
Ambassador Degnan was the Senior Civilian Representative to Brigade Combat Team Salerno in Khost, Afghanistan, where she earned the Secretary of State’s Expeditionary Service Award, one of many awards she has received throughout her career. Ambassador Degnan was also the Political Advisor to the four-star Commander of U.S. Naval Forces Europe and U.S. Naval Forces Africa, and the Political Counselor at the U.S. Mission to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
In Washington, D.C, Ambassador Degnan served as the Deputy Executive Secretary of the Department of State under Secretary John Kerry, as a Special Assistant to Secretary Albright, and as a Special Assistant to three Undersecretaries for Political Affairs, Marc Grossman, William Burns [former NATO ambassador], and Nicholas Burns [now CIA director].
In the lengthy address celebrating the 30th anniversary of U.S.-Georgian diplomatic relations, Ambassador Kelly Degnan highlighted that “we face a resurgent, revanchist Russia, intent on reinstating its empire through establishing a privileged sphere of influence.”
Noting that Russia has “clearly demonstrated its lack of respect for Georgia and other countries’ sovereignty,” the U.S diplomat asserted that it is the only country in Europe occupying the territory of sovereign nations….[NATO troops in Bosnia, Kosovo and Macedonia evidently aren’t in that category for her.]
She stressed that Georgia has repeatedly faced Russian aggression over the centuries: “Dating back to 1801 when Russia annexed the Kingdom of Kartli-Kakheti in violation of the 1783 Treaty of Georgievsk, then again in 1921 when the Kremlin invaded and occupied the Democratic Republic of Georgia in violation of the Treaty of Moscow, and of course, more recently in 2008.”
It was Russia that crushed Georgia’s first Republic in 1921, desecrated Georgia’s churches, and unsuccessfully tried to smother the Georgian language,” the Ambassador highlighted.
The diplomat said “in stark contrast to Russia’s disrespect for Georgia’s culture, faith, language, and traditions, the United States, Europe, and Georgia have a common vision of shared prosperity, freedom, and dignity based on mutual respect.” [Russia is not in Europe, is instead a primitive Asiatic backwater, in her advanced cosmopolitan view.]
….Meanwhile, Ambassador Degnan reaffirmed that in Washington there is a “strong interest and bipartisan support” for the common goals of the U.S. and Georgia. “The United States has a huge interest and desire to see Georgia fulfill its trans-Atlantic destiny.”
In her remarks, the diplomat also underlined the U.S. efforts to modernize Georgian Defense Forces, Coast Guard and Border Police, pointing out that it has invested over USD 1.5 billion “in helping Georgia strengthen its resiliency, defend its borders, and support its territorial integrity.”
“The United States understands that our global network of alliances and partnerships is our greatest strength, and Georgia is a valued part of that network,” the Ambassador stated, adding “that is why the United States supports Georgia’s membership aspiration toward NATO, where Allies work together to promote…our collective security.”