Rex Tillerson apparently does not know that diplomacy is what prevents wars.
Earlier this month, the New York Times reported on Tillerson’s effort to gut the State Department.
“Mr. Tillerson has frozen most hiring and recently offered a $25,000 buyout in hopes of pushing nearly 2,000 career diplomats and civil servants to leave by October 2018,” the Times reported.
In addition to firing career diplomats or forcing them to retire, Donald Trump’s Secretary of State is leaving many diplomatic posts unfilled around the globe.
“The number of those with the department’s top two ranks of career ambassador and career minister — equivalent to four- and three-star generals — will have been cut in half by Dec. 1, from 39 to 19,” The Times reports. “And of the 431 minister-counselors, who have two-star-equivalent ranks, 369 remain, and another 14 have indicated that they will leave soon — an 18 percent drop.”
These vacancies leave critical diplomatic efforts in the hands of inexperienced junior level employees who are unprepared and too overworked to deal with the many crises around the globe.
At $55 billion, Tillerson claims that the State Department budget is bloated and needs to be slashed.
Of course, the Department of Defense saw a massive budget increase which tops out at $700 billion, but you don’t hear Trump or Tillerson complaining about it.
But Tillerson excused his ‘slash and burn’ policy by claiming the State Department is unnecessary because Trump will singlehandedly solve the issue of war during an appearance at Washington’s Wilson Center.
“[It] is reflective of an expectation that we’re going to have success in some of these conflict areas of getting these conflicts resolved and moving to a different place in terms of the kind of support that we have to give them,” Tillerson said.
So, war is going to magically disappear from the face of the Earth according to Tillerson, so he’s preparing for the joyful day by dismantling the very department whose job it is to prevent wars from happening in the first place.
That does NOT make any sense at all.
If anything, Trump has escalated conflicts around the globe that will likely cause more wars, not fewer. His provocations of Kim Jong-un has led to North Korea firing more ballistic missiles. He continually threatens to rip up the Iran nuclear agreement, which would escalate tensions in the Middle East on top of increasing the American presence in Iraq and Afghanistan. And Russia remains a threat, especially to our European allies, and that’s a threat Trump is willfully ignoring.
Trump is not going to solve war. And it’s laughable that Tillerson would even think of making such a suggestion to justify neutering the State Department. Diplomacy is the first option if Trump is serious about solving conflicts and crises around the world. Sabotaging the State Department while increasing the Pentagon budget only makes it clear that Trump wants war instead of peace.