There’s a story out that Tillerson is decimating the staff at State:
The State Department is in disarray and losing essential leaders at a “dizzying speed” under the Trump administration, according to an essay written by a top ambassador.
Plummeting morale, a rash of top diplomats jumping ship and a hiring freeze imposed under Trump have sent shock waves through the Foreign Service, wrote Ambassador Barbara Stephenson, the president of the Foreign Service officers’ union.
“There is simply no denying the warning signs that point to mounting threats to our institution — and to the global leadership that depends on us. There is no denying that our leadership ranks are being depleted at a dizzying speed.”…
First off, this sort of thing explains the rapid decline in the number of leaks. Secondly, it shows that Tillerson – and Trump – are determined to have people they can rely on to carry out Trump Administration policy. I can’t quite say where Trump policy is going – he’s keeping to his rule of not telegraphing his punches. We can glean a bit from statements and from actions, but the end game is hazy. In the Middle East, for instance, it appears that Trump has decided to go with Saudi Arabia and Israel as our primary partners…which is a bit of a fall-back to the pre-2001 US policy, but with a twist in that we seem to be willing to aid Israel and Saudi Arabia to take concrete actions against enemies – theirs and ours. If it works – and this will be highly dependent upon the new leadership in Saudi Arabia prevailing – then Trump might break the log-jam in the Middle East. We’ll just have to see – but, meanwhile, he’s going to have his people doing it his way.
Whether or not Trump’s people are going to be good at this remains to be seen. At all events, however, whomever he picks can’t possibly do worse than those who are being pushed out…the same sort of people who have been running US foreign policy for a century and have never, not once, got things right. Remember, these are the guys who started off this century of foreign policy folly by figuring we should break up the Hapsburg Empire and keep Germany intact. From there, they went on to such genius things as normalizing relations with Stalin’s Russia, using the UN as cover for us to get into Korea with a declaration of war, signed arms control agreements which merely hamstrung American power and, to wrap it all up, signed off on allowing Iran to move forward with nukes under Obama. These people aren’t just wrong, they are kind of stupid. Breaking the chain by clearing them out and bringing in new voices can only help.