Tags: Trump Administration | tillerson | state | department | decision | making

Tillerson Tries to Centralize State Dept. Decision-Making

Image: Tillerson Tries to Centralize State Dept. Decision-Making
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By    |   Thursday, 26 October 2017 08:57 AM

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is in the process of centralizing power within the State Department that essentially boxes out veteran diplomats, Politico reported.

A leaked document obtained by Politico shows a decision-making process that bubbles up power to an inner circle of senior aides to Tillerson over a bottom-up approach to a wider group of diplomats.

Those career staffers are wary of the approach that gives aide Brian Hook — not confirmed by the Senate — and the Policy Planning Staff an unusual amount of power and influence, Politico reported.

"This says to me that they are developing a new foreign policy structure that is designed to largely ignore those who know these regions and who know these issues," Brett Bruen, a former State Department official under President George W. Bush, told Politico.

Hook has been meeting with different departments explaining how the process is going to work, Politico reported.

On the flip side, the increasing scrutiny on Hook could be misguided given the snail's pace with which staffing is occurring with the State Department.

According to NBC, five of six under secretary positions remain vacant as do ambassador posts in critical locations like Saudi Arabia, Cairo, Berlin, Afghanistan and Seoul, South Korea.

But the consolidation of power also could be the new normal for a State Department that both Tillerson and President Donald Trump have vowed to shrink via cuts to 1,300 jobs.

Last month Tillerson said he was close to finishing his "redesign plan" in order to heighten efficiencies within the embattled agency.

Those efficiencies have, apparently, manifested themselves in a process leaked to Politico.

"We are implementers of policy decided by Tillerson and his team,” one veteran State Department official told Politico.

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Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is in the process of centralizing power within the State Department that essentially boxes out veteran diplomats, Politico reported.
tillerson, state, department, decision, making
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2017-57-26
Thursday, 26 October 2017 08:57 AM
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