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Saturday, August 5, 2017

Rush To Judgment

Foreign Policy is a magazine that should perhaps be renamed "Liberal Foreign Policy".  I was reminded of that today when I came across an article "explaining" why Rex Tillerson has failed as Secretary of State.  Think about that for a minute.  Tillerson has been in office for just over five months.  In the context of international relations, five months is a short time.  Foreign Policy magazine, however, is ready to declare his tenure a failure.  That opinion is a joke.

It's much more of a joke when you realize that the same Foreign Policy magazine though Hillary Clinton was a great head of the State Department, and she accomplished nothing in over four years.  In his first five months, Tillerson has arranged the meeting of 50 heads of state of Muslim majority countries with President Trump at which those present denounced Islamic terrorism.  In her first five months, Hillary traveled a lot.  She also gave Russia a mislabeled "reset" button that was the most ironic moment of her tenure.  Tillerson has also dealt with a North Korean threat although he has not seen any real success for his efforts.  Hillary, didn't bother with the North Korean issue, but she did travel a lot.  Tillerson has worked to strengthen NATO, and the Trump policy in that regard has seen some significant success.  NATO now has many more countries increasing their military contribution to the alliance.  Hillary ignored NATO and watched it atrophy, but she did travel a lot.  Tillerson has established a good working relationship with his counterpart in China.  I won't tell you again about Hillary's travels.

The point is that foreign policy is a work in progress.  Is it a success for the USA to have arranged a regional cease fire in Syria that is still holding?  We really don't know yet.  We do know, however, that such a cease fire was, in fact, arranged.  Tillerson may deserve credit for this move or maybe it should be credited to the President.  We cannot yet judge this policy a success or a failure.  Time will tell.  One thing we do know, however, is that constant travel without accomplishing anything -- either bad or good -- is not a success.

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