Shultz represents the gold commonplace for a secretary of state defending his division. It is exhausting to see present Secretary of State Mike Pompeo taking a web page from Shultz’s playbook. It seems that if there’s something Pompeo discovered from his predecessor Rex Tillerson, it is to not oppose President Donald Trump or make him sad.
Now we have labored for a half dozen secretaries of state in each Republican and Democratic administrations and infrequently if ever have we encountered yet another ill-suited for the job. Pompeo, who appears to be motivated by his personal political ambitions and his need to maintain his job, has produced little of actual consequence to advance the nation’s curiosity. If he continues on his present trajectory, Pompeo could find yourself being remembered because the worst secretary of state in trendy instances.
To be honest, Pompeo works for a mercurial and undisciplined President who trusts and empowers nobody, interferes in overseas coverage when his self-importance and temper swings transfer him, and sees the whole lot by way of the lens of his personal private and political wants. It could be that no secretary of state can navigate these turbulent waters.
In his function as secretary of state, Pompeo has compiled a dismal document in areas just like the Center East, the place he has carved out a distinguished function for himself. His uncompromising and confrontational fashion of diplomacy has introduced the US and Iran nearer to the brink of struggle and all however extinguished any hope of a brand new dialogue between the 2 international locations on the nuclear problem.
When the beleaguered and hapless Rex Tillerson was unceremoniously dumped by Trump, morale on the State Division had hit all-time low and most observers assumed it had nowhere to go however up. This proved to be mistaken — morale, by all accounts, has sunk to an excellent decrease degree. Trump’s disdain for the State Division, diplomacy, and America’s diplomatic corps bears a lot of the blame. However Pompeo will not be innocent, and he needs to be held accountable.
Lastly, Pompeo didn’t oppose the investigation into present and former State Division officers who despatched emails to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s personal electronic mail — a blatant try and tarnish the careers of those officers. No matter Pompeo has been whispering into Trump’s ear, it has not been a message to put off the State Division.
It is exhausting to see the following yr or so bettering Pompeo’s prospects. His popularity has taken a success on Ukraine and it might get additional blackened because the impeachment inquiry intensifies. It will be sensible politics and good coverage for the administration to attempt to interact in critical diplomacy within the subsequent yr.
However Iran and North Korea will likely be robust nuts to crack and success would require the type of diplomatic ability to date lacking within the repertoire of a secretary of state who appears higher suited to haranguing and lecturing America’s adversaries than negotiating with them.
It usually takes time and perspective to guage the efficiency of a secretary of state. In Pompeo’s case, the decision could already be in.