President Trump has replaced Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State. The move comes as Tillerson fell ill in Kenya and was unable to complete his African diplomacy tour. Former Kansas Congressman Mike Pompeo, the current CIA Director, will replace Tillerson. In addition, President Trump made a historic move by replacing Pompeo with Gina Haspal, the first female in history to serve as CIA director.
New Direction for Foreign Policy
It was no secret Tillerson and Trump clashed over foreign policy direction. Tillerson had disagreed with the president’s move to bring an end to the state of hostility that exists between North Korea and South Korea and the south’s 68-year ally and close friend, the U.S. As history books acknowledge, the Korean War never officially ended. The United States is embroiled in a pseudo peace through “cessation of hostilities”, the official description of the current status, since the 1950s.
Trump, in an effort to do what eleven presidents before him could not, or would not do, wants to end the nuclear threat. Even if it took meeting face-to-face the most infamous dictator in the world.
Tillerson has always been seen as a traditional old-school Republican with close ties to the military-industrial complex. Many on the left and right have criticized that complex since the words were coined by President Eisenhower. The “complex” is the seen as the overall driving force behind America’s foreign policy. Trillions of dollars have been spent overseas “keeping the peace” at great cost to the American taxpayer. In addition there’s the cost to families who have lost hundreds of thousands of sons and daughters in North Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and other wars.
Tillerson was slated to retire from Exxon in March 2017 at age 65 under the company’s mandatory retirement policy. Paid $27.3 million last year, Tillerson has accumulated roughly $160 million in Exxon stock along with $149 million of unvested stock options, according a proxy statement the company filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.