The Atlantic

Why Keep State Department Special Envoys?

The secretary of state’s plan to eliminate or merge several high-profile positions has many supporters.
Source: Mike Theiler / Reuters

When news reports surfaced this week that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson intended to eliminate nine special envoys—including one devoted to climate change—the outcry in some circles was swift.

On the heels of reports of high-profile exits from Tillerson’s department,  low morale among career officials, and an almost-certainly-doomed proposal from Tillerson to slash the State budget by 30 percent, the fate of envoys looked like one more example of Tillerson’s “”State—and with it America’s ability to conduct diplomacy.

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