US slams Bahrain envoy's 'seat of the pants' style
Manama, March 29, 2014
By Sandeep Singh Grewal
The US has harshly criticised Ambassador Thomas Krajeski for damaging relations with Bahrain.
In a hard-hitting report, the State Department says Ambassador Krajeski's "seat of the pants" leadership style has damaged Washington's reputation in the kingdom.
Krajeski has done little to plan for the future of the diplomatic mission, is providing poor leadership to staff members and has earned the ire of the local population, possibly to the detriment of US diplomatic interests, the Office of Inspector General for the State Department and Broadcasting Board of Governors says in a new report.
Krajeski's leadership style has left his employees to fend for themselves, says the report, an unusually harsh criticism of a sitting diplomatic official.
"His belief that reactive 'seat of the pants' leadership works best in Bahrain's challenging environment has left staff members who do not have access to him on a regular basis confused about mission goals," says the report.
The inspector general's report says that good leadership is critical now because the US Embassy in Manama must strike an "effective balance between military objectives, reform and human rights".
But investigators found that rajeski rarely has much contact with embassy staff after meeting them upon their arrival, and leaves daily affairs uncertain and disorganised, as employees have little direction on what needs to be done, the report states.
After a series of unpopular public interviews when he first assumed the post in 2011, the ambassador has largely withdrawn from connecting with Bahraini citizens, leaving a feeling of ill will towards him from the general populace.
"There is a desire within the mission for greater engagement by the ambassador," says the report.
Krajeski declined to meet investigators at the embassy during portions of their evaluation, and did not want to discuss several examples of "personal time spent out of the office on workdays", the report states.
Investigators noted that while the ambassador is "intensely concerned about the security of mission employees," he did allow the deputy chief of mission to live in an "unsafe red zone" that required "costly security measures to protect her and her family".-TradeArabia News Service