The Atlantic

Rex Tillerson Doesn't Understand America

His idea that the country’s interests and its values are two separate things—the first mandatory, the second optional—reflects a misreading of the past.
Source: Yuri Gripas / Reuters

On May 3rd Secretary of State Rex Tillerson gave his first big speech about American foreign policy to the employees of the Department of State. In so doing, he gave those who think that American diplomacy matters more reason to worry.

It was a speech given in the style of an executive delivering a pep talk to anxious employees, a substantial number of whom suspect the boss intends to declare them redundant. That is, of course, the actual situation. The diplomats and civil servants politely applauding were listening to a leader who, as far as we know, did not fight a proposed 29 percent cut to his Department’s budget, plus layoffs of key personnel. He did not speak from notes or behind a podium, presumably in order to be more relatable, as they say, even as

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