I believe Nikki Haley is the finest U.S. ambassador to the United Nations in the last 50 years. Here are five of Haley's best moments at the Security Council.
1) "They made an unconscionable choice."
Following Syrian President Bashar Assad's first chemical weapons attack during Trump's presidency, Haley lambasted the Russian government for preventing Assad from being held accountable for his atrocities. In a passionate speech, Haley made the world take note of Russian obstruction.
2) "If we act together, we can still prevent a catastrophe and we can rid the world of a grave threat. If we fail to act in a serious way, there will be a different response."
At the height of the North Korean nuclear crisis last summer, Haley made clear to the U.N. that the U.S. needed results. And Haley was clear: America prefers a diplomatic solution. But the ambassador was also clear that America would use military force, "a different response," if diplomacy failed. More than that, Haley was laser-focused on what needed to happen to get a diplomatic solution: greater pressure on Pyongyang from China. This was diplomatic statecraft of the finest order. America's allies and adversaries recognized the U.S. was willing to use force to resolve the threat, and they got more serious about sanctioning Kim Jong Un's regime and forcing him to the table.
3) "I'm in awe, Vasily, of how you say what you say with a straight face."
Responding to Russian Ambassador Vasily Nebenzya's blaming of America over the situation in Syria, Haley directly confronted her counterpart. With pure fury, Haley called out the Russians in the manner they most respect: with unequivocal strength.
4) "It wants sanctions relief so it can connect its Trans-Siberian Railway into North Korea to ultimately reach a global port in South Korea."
Speaking just a few weeks ago, Haley outlined the significant scale with which Russia is skirting U.N. sanctions on North Korea. But Haley did more than that: She cut to the heart of why Russia is behaving as it is. Explaining that Putin really wants a supply line to global ports in South Korea, Haley showed the world what Putin really aims to achieve by supporting Kim Jong Un.
5) "[O]f families lying motionless, with babies still in the arms of their mothers and fathers."
Again confronting Assad's use of chemical weapons, Haley outlined the capricious nature of the Syrian regime's assault on its citizens. Highlighting deliberate Russian and Syrian efforts to target civilians, Haley did what the Obama administration did not: she shined a painful light on the immorality of what Putin and Assad are doing in Syria. This effort has prevented Russia from setting the narrative on the Syrian civil war.
Haley, in short, will be missed. But here's who would make a good replacement for the departing ambassador.