January 07, 2005

Zoellick Gets DepSec; Bolton Exits

Story here:

Zoellick's expected appointment provides the first insight to the team Rice hopes to assemble at the State Department, which has often been a dissenting voice within the administration on Iraq and other key foreign policies. Outgoing Secretary of State Colin L. Powell and other State officials have promoted diplomacy and cooperation with the United Nations, clashing with Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and administration neoconservatives who have often favored a more unilateral approach on foreign policy.

What is striking about Zoellick and others being talked about as candidates for top jobs at State, foreign policy analysts said, is that most of them are professional diplomats. Zoellick is considered an internationalist attuned to the need for building coalitions, which he has had to do as trade representative.

The roster of others officials have said are in the running for the new State Department team are NATO Ambassador Nicholas Burns, who worked with Rice at the National Security Council during the first Bush administration, and Philip D. Zelikow, director of the University of Virginia's Miller Center of Public Affairs and co-author with Rice of "Germany Unified and Europe Transformed." Zelikow was also staff director for the commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Both men are personal friends with whom Rice holds working dinners. As U.S. trade representative and NATO ambassador, Zoellick and Burns also come with expansive contacts globally.

Oh, and Bolton looks set to go:

Undersecretary of State John Bolton, a leading hard-liner on nuclear nonproliferation who has raised hackles among America's allies as well as its adversaries, is expected to quit the Bush administration, sources said on Thursday.

His departure may signal a shift in U.S. diplomacy to a less confrontational approach as President Bush begins a second term in which he has pledged to reach out to allies estranged by the Iraq War and other policies.

Bolton, an outspoken and controversial policymaker, often provoked strong negative reactions from European allies and was identified more with the sticks than the carrots of U.S. diplomacy when dealing with countries like North Korea and Iran.

He had hoped for a promotion in Bush's second term, perhaps to deputy secretary of state, but the word went out that U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick would get the No. 2 spot under Condoleezza Rice, the secretary of state designate.

P.S. You heard it was going this way here first.

P.P.S. Laura, I told you so....

MORE: From the FT:

Mr Zoellick, 51, regarded as a tough, effective negotiator, has had wide experience dealing with multilateral institutions. He served in the Treasury in the 1980s and was the chief US official handling the unification of Germany and the cold war aftermath, when he worked closely with Ms Rice under President George H.W. Bush.

It is rare for a serving cabinet member to take a lesser ranking job as a deputy. But people close to the discussions said on Thursday that President George W. Bush and vice-president Dick Cheney were keen to restore the State Department as an effective voice in the administration.

“The president had a transformational foreign policy . . . now we are looking for a transformational diplomacy in his second term,” said an official [emphasis added].

Make no mistake. Rumsfeld's Pentagon is on the mega-defensive (big-time, as they say); while Condi's State on the rise (she's got the all important direct channel to POTUS and is in honeymoon mode--while Rummy is busy saving his job)--trust me, she won't be taking her marching orders from Don 'So-Called Occupied Territories' Rumsfeld (he can't try to play both SecState and SecDef this go-around and will shut up on things that, er, affect the Middle East peace process, say--or Bush/Condi will rein him in might quick). That's good folks, that's good.

Posted by Gregory at January 7, 2005 04:33 AM

Looking good.

Posted by: praktike at January 7, 2005 06:03 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Follow where Bolton's going. I'm sure he's going to get rich in his next--um--engagement. Not atypical for people who leave government. Particularly those who leave republican administrations.

Posted by: raj at January 7, 2005 11:53 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Don't count your chickens so fast. Also keep in mind that Scowcroft is no longer chairman of the president's foreign intelligence advisory board.

Posted by: Zionist Scientist at January 7, 2005 10:08 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

These folks are friendly with Condi.
Bush wants his folk near him; folk who can tell him, privately, differing views and then support his decision.

Condi wants that, too. Friendly. Loyal. Butt-KICKERS (hopefully not lickers, and it looks not).

It's likely Condi knows what team she needs to have to give Bush more support than Rummy.

Yeah, Bolton will prolly get rich -- since so MANY Americans get so much richer with Rep policies of lower taxes. Of course, Clinton's pal Marc Rich was getting rich in other ways.

Posted by: Tom Grey - Liberty Dad at January 8, 2005 12:52 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

None of the personalities going and staying and moving matter as much as the central reality we face:

*The old collective security mechanisms, including especially the UN, NATO, and the EU are broken.

None of them were worth a damn in the Balkans, West Africa, the Congo, the Middle East, and now the Tsunami disaster relief.

The United States remains the indispensable nation, the rest obnoxious pygmies or regional actors, unable to provide much other than meaningless criticism or cheerleading.

So far no one in either party has offered a way to either fix the old organizations or replace them with something that actually works.

Posted by: Jim Rockford at January 9, 2005 03:11 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Jim, what would it mean for the UN or NATO to work?

They don't want to follow our lead; they suspect we don't have their interests at heart at all.

We sure don't want them to follow somebody else's lead.

So long as they take up space it's harder to replace them with alternative organisations that might follow somebody else's lead or create a consensus that would be against us.

So our best outcome is to keep them broken, but just functional enough to inhibit the start of competing organisations.

It isn't a bug for these groups to be broken. It's a feature.

Posted by: J Thomas at January 13, 2005 06:07 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink
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