March 13, 2018

A Requiem for Rex’s Redesign

By Ilan Goldenberg

President Trump’s decision to inform Rex Tillerson of his firing via tweet was a fitting end to what has been a historically weak and ineffective tenure as secretary of state. Tillerson’s tenure was plagued by two central problems. First, his inability to effectively speak for or represent President Trump’s views abroad. Second, his catastrophic mismanagement of the State Department bureaucracy.

On the first problem, this was not just Tillerson’s fault. By the nature of the job, the secretary of state has to be able to speak credibly for the president of the United States and be their chief representative abroad. And the reality is that no one in the Trump administration speaks credibly for President Trump. Even President Trump does not always speak for himself, making commitments that he almost immediately walks back from or upending U.S. policy on a dime, such as when he announced he would meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Read the full article in Foreign Policy.