US and the World Post-Tillerson

Fahed Khitan
Fahed Khitan

اضافة اعلان

Within a year, US President Donald Trump has replaced most of his advisors and ranking officials in his administration.

However, perhaps the most fundamental replacement took place yesterday, when Trump removed Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and appointed CIA Director Mike Pompeo.

Notably, Tillerson’s relationship with Trump has been strained ever since he was appointment secretary. He was one of the Trump Administration’s more sensible officials. One of the most sensible in the White House, for that matter.

After the announcement, Trump’s statements indicated that there were disputes between the two, Tillerson and the president, over the nuclear deal with Iran.

While Tillerson saw it as a sustainable arrangement while maintaining sanctions against Iran, Trump seems hell-bent on breaking it.

Now, after Tillerson’s removal, specialists have more doubt than ever about Trump’s intentions to renew the deal in May. Now, there is even more reason to believe he is really going to pull out of the deal.

The newly appointed Secretary of State is close to Trump. Both see eye to eye on the deal with Iran, as well as on other issues.

Of course, this will widen the drift between the US and Continental Europe in time.

Meanwhile, it is expected that the US position on Iran will escalate soon.

Change in the US foreign relations department may have helped put to rest all the dispute on the Gulf Crisis as well. Trump and his close White House staff, particularly his son-in-law and advisor Jared Kushner, all favour the Saudi Arabian approach. Meanwhile, Tillerson was seen as Qatar’s voice in the White House, which is not far from the truth.

Tillerson never tried to hide his position. He always showed understanding of Qatari position.

In many foreign policy issues, Tillerson was set aside. In the Arab-Israeli conflict, for instance, Kushner and another group of advisors took lead. They are the ones who cooked what is now known as the “Deal of the Centry.”

Tillerson played no part, whatsoever, in the making or shaping of the deal. Nor did any of the members of the department itself.

The most important files for Washington are the relationship with Moscow and the cut-throat commercial rivalry with Beijing. Those too will now be subject to Trump’s approach.

In any way, Tillerson, who is a businessman, was somewhat foreign to Trump’s volatile team. He had a different approach to the foreign challenges.

Now that he’s gone, a unilateral Trump dynamic will force itself on US international relations.

As for Jordan, Tillerson’s removal may not affect bilateral Jordanian-American relations negatively, because his replacement used to be the head of CIA and knows exactly the value of Jordan and the vitality of its role in the region.

The same goes for Gina Haspel, who is now the first woman, ever to head the central intelligence agency.

However, in regards to the situation with North Korea, it is evident that the ongoing talks could lead to an exceptionally historical deal.

In the meantime, other similarly significant deals, or steps towards aggravation, are underway for the Middle East region as well, including Iran and the Arab-Israeli conflict.

This article is an edited translation of the Arabic version, published by AlGhad.