Who Should be Trump’s Secretary of State?
The key question as to who should be Secretary of State has loomed quite prevalently in the media. The following names have been bandied about for some time:
- Former Governor Mitt Romney [R] Mass.
- Former NYC Mayor, Rudolph W. Giuliani.
- Retired Gen. David H. Petraeus.
- Ambassador John Bolton.
- Rep. Dana Rohrabacher [R] Calif.
As someone who has served under five Sec’s State during a thirty year period, I found certain psychological/political considerations quite important to a successful Sec State:
- He/she must be extremely knowledgeable about foreign policy machinations, strategies, tactics.
- He/she must have had extensive experience managing a worldwide organization consisting of over 20,000 personnel.
- He/she must know how to access civilian/military intelligence without being blindsided.
- He/she must have a close relationship with POTUS.
I won’t bother to annunciate which of the past Sec States were most successful in my humble opinion. However, I will provide some initial impressions of the potential candidates who are soliciting the job of Sec.State under the Trump Team.
Dana Rohrabacher [R] Calif.born and bred within the conservative perimeters of Orange County. He chairs the US House Foreign Affairs Committee on Europe, Eurasia and Emerging Threats. His personal history denotes an interesting combination of a folk singer and free-market anarchist with membership in the Young Americans for Freedom. He was financially supported by Charles Koch and Oliver North and ended up to become a speechwriter for Ronald Reagan.
His field of expertise seems to be within the Libertarian-Conservative domestic realm of politics. Clearly, he has some outreach to a variety of countries including Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran. Dana would best serve this country by remaining where he is right now, defending the ‘little man’ against patent infringements and other domestic matters.
Ambassador John Bolton is an American lawyer and diplomat who has served in several different Republican Administrations [wiki]. I have known John for quite some time. I find him to be pleasant, bright,and accommodating. When I needed the necessary moneys for the Cambodian Peace Treaty in 1991, he stepped up to the plate and offered his good services as then Assistant Secretary of State.
My problem with John is that he was a hard core Neo-Conservative who belongs to such extreme right groups like the Jewish Institute for National Security [JINSA] and the Institute of East-West Dynamics. Equally problematic for me, is that at heart he is a Mitt Romney devotee and did not support Trump until very late in the election cycle. Also, during the Vietnam War, he joined the Maryland Army National Guard as a way to avoid service in Vietnam [wiki].
Gov. Mitt Romney [R] is elegant, bright, articulate and completely unfit to be Sec. State. From the very beginning of his run for the Republican Presidential Election of 2012, he was incapable of initiating an effective dialogue with the American public. His primary assets are in the realm of business: buying, selling, financing.
Romney has no foreign policy experience. Moreover, he has never managed an institution as large and widespread as the State Dept.
However, he could play the role of a Sec. State in an Hollywood movie. He looks like one but that is not enough! Sorry!
Former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani has been campaigning for the position of Sec. State for as long as he has opportunistically helped the Trump campaign. He came out of the US Attorney General’s office as a prosecutor/litigator. Like many of the right wing conservatives, he too sought a draft deferment, preferring to allow other Americans to fight and die in some forgotten place for unknown reason.
He is as fickle and chimerical as any political animal whom I have been observing. In the beginning of his career, he voted/worked for Liberal Presidential Candidate George McGovern in 1972. Rudy’s allegiance will follow anyone or anything that will allow him to continue his obnoxious self-aggrandizement in the press and TV/Cable.
He became an Independent and finally a Republican when it was suitable for him to work for Reagan. His boisterous, self-deprecating humor is both disingenuous and disturbing. It’s hard to think of him as anything other than the Bush Jr pimp who brought 158 dump trucks within twelve hours of the 9/11 stand down/false flag to carry away the necessary evidence of a potential crime scene.
Furthermore, Guiliani is notorious for public charges that were bereft of any convincing evidence in high profile Wall Street cases in which he wanted to create a faux gangbuster personae. The one I remember best was the humiliation of Richard Wigton of Kidder Peabody and & Co. for insider trading on February 1987. Wigton was marched through the office handcuffed to make some ridiculous point. Wigton was discharged because Rudy had no real evidence to incriminate him for insider trading. Rudy’s judgement was always crippled by his bellowing narcissism.
In 2000, Guiliani appointed 34-year-old Russel Harding to head the NYC Housing Development Corps. Five years later, Harding was convicted for defrauding this organization as well as indulging in child pornography. Harding turned out not to have a college degree nor any experience for that particular job. Another scintillating Rudy pick-of-the-month was Michael Chertoff, our favorite Homeland Security Neo-Con, completely compromised by the 9/11 stand down.
Gen. David Petraeus, former Director of the CIA, has extensive overseas experience in the conflict areas where present day diplomacy is mostly required. Although he violated national security secrets by passing along eight TS notebooks to his mistress, Paula Broadwell, he conveniently fits three of the four criteria that I had annunciated in the beginning of this blog.
He has been intimately involved in intelligence gathering and analysis. He has had successful experience managing over several hundred thousand troops in different areas of low intensity conflict.
He may not be close to Trump or his team. However, I think that can be overcome by the daily briefings Petraeus will have to make to POTUS. One might argue that we have too many military men in the Trump administration… I say “so what?”
Furthermore, Petraeus has earned a PhD from Princeton University under the tutelage of a very distinguished international relations scholar, Prof. Richard Ullman.
I have worked with many generals in all the branches of armed services. I still have to discover anyone who wanted to initiate a war for the sake of destroying countries like Iraq,Libya,or Afghanistan. It was the civilians who sent our brave men/women to war; not our senior military officers.
Possibly, we can enjoy a decade of peace because in Trump’s administration, we have men/women who have seen the disgusting nature of war. Experience teaches military officers to avoid inflicting anymore atrocities on our youth. Trump understands the need to shift billion$ from useless warmongering to support re-building of our dilapidated infrastructure.
The famous American humorist, Will Rogers, said the following:
“Diplomacy is the art of saying nice doggie until you can find a rock.”
Or, as Mick Jagger opines: “you can’t always get what you want but sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need.”