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Secretary of State Rex Tillerson arrives to speak to State Department employees, Washington, May 3, 2017 (AP photo by Jacquelyn Martin).

Rex Tillerson’s Downsized Vision for U.S. Diplomacy

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Last week, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson finally met with the State Department’s workforce to outline how President Donald Trump’s “America First” agenda applies to foreign policy. In his remarks, Tillerson focused on the core mission of national security. He insisted that American values still matter, but was clear that the U.S. is no longer in the business of promoting those values as universal aspirations. It’s a big loss for American influence in the world.

When the State Department employees gathered last week to hear from their boss, they were braced for more details about budget cuts and downsizing. Instead, they heard Tillerson’s views on how America First relates to the department’s work. Tillerson described the State Department’s mission as protecting national security and promoting economic prosperity. Full stop. ...

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