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Trump gets it wrong

January 28, 2017

President Trump’s experience as a cadet at New York Military Academy gave him an appreciation for military service. That guided his appointment of three General Officers including General James Mattis as Secretary of Defense.

We may now rest easy. President Trump will not order a military uniform to wear when and if the United States goes to war. General Mattis will take care of that.

Unfortunately, President Trump’s other experience as a wide ranging deal-maker and founder of a business empire leads him to seek personal relations with those with whom he must deal as President of the United States. The selection of Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State, and not someone with national security or foreign policy experience, places a businessman at the head of the U.S. Department of State.

John Bolton, Bob Gates–even with their negative intellectual and political baggage–or my favorite, Norman A. Bailey, were far more preferable than another businessman in a Trump Cabinet.

Why? Because diplomacy requires the skills of diplomats, not the deal-making skills of entrepreneurs. Foreign policy is the one area of government where “personal” relations are not important.  Even the Washington Post ‘s Ashley Parker got it right.

President Trump’s Secretary of State hasn’t been confirmed, he has placed no professionals in key positions at State and he, personally, is out of his depth in these waters.  Personal meetings and phone calls organized for President Trump with foreign leaders this early in his Presidency are fraught with danger and just plain wrong. Don’t blame Trump. Blame the foreign policy and national security professionals who joined the “Never Trump” campaign. Because of their arrogance, their influence and experience is now lost to our businessman President.



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