Friday, February 24, 2017

A Diminished Role For The U.S. State Department In A Trump Administration?

New U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson speaks after his swearing-in ceremony, accompanied by U.S. President Donald Trump at the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, U.S., February 1, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Aaron David Miller and Richard Sokolsky, Politico: Rex Tillerson Is Already Underwater

In just a month, the tough-talking CEO has been pushed to the margins. Here's how a potentially strong secretary of state can salvage his term.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is winging his way to Mexico today carrying a load of troubles in his bag: His boss is in a long rhetorical war with our nearest neighbor; our next major trade deal appears to have blown up; and, from Mexico’s perspective, America’s new immigration policy appears to be dumping migrants back into Mexico without its consent. And perhaps the biggest challenge for a secretary of state: Nobody knows whether he really speaks for his boss.

One month isn’t usually enough time to properly evaluate the performance of the nation’s top diplomat, but just three weeks after Tillerson took office, it’s clear that his tenure is already in trouble. As CEO of one of the world’s largest corporations, Tillerson was an unconventional choice for the job, but an intriguing one. At ExxonMobil, he presided over operations in most of the world’s countries—a company so large it had, it was often noted, its own foreign policy. He offered the prospect of a strong, pragmatic counterweight to a president inexperienced in foreign policy with a highly politicized core of advisers.

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WNU Editor: Way too early to comment on what what is going to happen to US Secretary of State Tillerson and his tenure at the State Department .... but I am not optimistic when I am reading reports like this one .... Trump Critic Poised for Senior State Department Job (Foreign Policy).

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