Trump fires Tillerson

US President Donald Trump has dismissed Secretary of State Rex Tillerson over differences of opinion regarding the nuclear agreement with Iran and other issues. Former CIA chief Mike Pompeo is to succeed Tillerson. What does this mean for US foreign policy?

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Jutarnji list (HR) /

Just Donald, Ivanka and Jared now

The step is disappointing for everyone who hopes the US will have a level-headed foreign policy, writes Jutarnji list:

“Rex Tillerson neither covered himself in glory as foreign minister nor will he be remembered for any particular political decision. Nonetheless his departure means the US administration has lost yet another voice of reason. The ex-oil magnate understood international relations and supported Nato, American obligations and the global system of liberal democracy. ... Now we must ask which sensible persons remain. It looks very much like Trump is realising his dream: him at the top, without a loyal assistant, just Ivanka and Jared. A family business.”

Salzburger Nachrichten (AT) /

Trump resigns as leader of the free world

Those in power in Beijing and Moscow are rubbing their hands in glee, Salzburger Nachrichten suspects:

“Because chaos is the order of the day in the White House. Instead of professional political management there's a revolving door for a continually changing staff; and the president has gambled away America's global leadership role with his erratic course. China's strong man Xi Jinping has just had his pseudo-parliament grant him lifelong rule, while Russia's president will secure his absolute grip on power through a pseudo-vote on Sunday. Trump, meanwhile, has voluntarily stepped down as leader of the free world.”

Avvenire (IT) /

Generals taking charge

Avvenire sees Mike Pompeo's appointment as secretary of state as an alarming development:

“Back in 1961 President Eisenhower warned Americans against putting themselves in the hands of the arms industry and men in uniform in his farewell address. ... With Trump in the White House the military has effectively taken over the presidency. John Kelly as chief of staff, James Mattis as defense secretary, Joseph Dunford as chairman of the joint chiefs of staff and Herbert Raymond McMaster as national security adviser. The first three are former navy generals, the latter was an army commander. Now they are joined by Pompeo who, before he became a hardliner of the Republican right, was a diplomat trained at the West Point military academy, a tank officer and then an entrepreneur in the aviation sector.”

Izvestia (RU) /

Administration needs a hawk like Pompeo

As regards the North Korea crisis in particular, Pompeo is the right person to take over Tillerson's job, Izvestia believes:

“A 'hawk' always has better prospects of reaching an agreement with the other side, if only because there's less chance of his being labelled as a potential compromiser and accused of making an unacceptable compromise and betraying national interests. In this respect the balanced Tillerson wasn't as qualified for reaching momentous breakthroughs. These, however, are exactly what Trump sorely needs - above all regarding North Korea, where at least as far as PR is concerned his announced meeting with Kim Jong-un must be interpreted as a US victory even though North Korea, in an almost impossible situation, has still managed to be recognised by Washington as a nuclear power.”