New US Secretary of State Unlikely to Improve Relations with Russia - Analysts

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - President Donald Trump’s decisions to fire Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and replace him with CIA Director Mike Pompeo will seriously increase global tensions and threatens to drive away many long-standing allies of the United States, analysts told Sputnik.

"I do not expect an emergence of true diplomacy and may in fact result in a more tense geopolitical environment to include further alienation of many traditional allies," Washington's Eurasia Center Vice President Earl Rasmussen said on Tuesday.

Pompeo was unlikely to take any action to improve superpower relations between the United States and Russia and might well make them worse, Rasmussen cautioned.

"Regarding Russia, I do not see Mr. Pompeo’s appointment assisting in that area. If anything, it may get even worse and of course with no evidence to support any accusations," he said.

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Pompeo had a consistent and well documented pattern of militant positions on the main crises confronting the United States and was unlikely to act differently toward them as secretary of state, Rasmussen noted.

"His stated positions on Russia, Iran and North Korea will likely contribute little to any true diplomatic breakthrough," Rasmussen said.

Pompeo’s past track record in Congress and as CIA director suggested that, in conjunction with Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, he would eschew patient constructive diplomacy in favor of making headlines by throwing insults at other nations, Rasmussen suggested.

Pompeo, Haley Unlikely to Resolve International Crisis

"While I could be mistaken and I hope so, Mr. Pompeo’s appointment in conjunction with Ambassador Haley’s continuing antics in the United Nations are of little assistance in resolving international crisis," Rasmussen said.

Trump’s decision to sack Tillerson was the culmination of clearly growing differences between the two men, Rasmussen recalled.

"This is a surprising but not unexpected move. I think, despite the rhetoric, we have known that there is tension between Mr. Tillerson, the White House, and with Congress," he said.

Tillerson’s moderating and stabilizing influence would be significantly missed in the Trump administration, Rasmussen predicted.

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"While many have been critical of Mr. Tillerson, I think he was probably very good for the position during this tense period. He provided a business perspective not driven primarily by political winds… He also was probably the best person to attempt to mend fences with Russia," Rasmussen said.

Pompeo would bring more of a military and political perspective into the State Department with a likely shift further to the right, Rasmussen projected.

"He is aligned more on many of the President’s views and will likely assist in strengthening ties with Congress," he said.

Tillerson Provided Moderate Voice on Iran Policy

University of Pittsburgh Professor of International Affairs Michael Brenner agreed that Tillerson had been a relatively moderate influence on trying to preserve the nuclear disarmament agreement that the Obama administration had negotiated with Iran.

However, Brenner noted that on Russia, Tillerson had not been a moderate voice at all and his influence there would not be missed.

"I do not see that this change will have any consequential effect on American foreign policy. While Tillerson reputedly was a relatively moderate voice on a few issues (the Iran nuclear accord), he pretty much hewed to the White House hard-line on everything else," he said.

Tillerson had never succeeded in exerting significant policy-making influence on the president and Pompeo was likely to have more, Brenner pointed out.

"He [Tillerson] was a marginal figure. Pompeo is closer to Trump," he said.

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) logo is displayed in the lobby of CIA Headquarters in Langley, Virginia - Sputnik International
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However, this would likely make for more disruptive US stands on issues, threatening more conflicts around the world, Brenner warned.

Pompeo shared Trump’s "aggressive, china-breaking impulses. Pompeo's worldview sees enemies in all directions," Brenner said.

Nor was Pompeo likely to restore the influence of the State Department on policy-making that had drastically waned under Tillerson, Brenner cautioned.

"The State Department… has ceased to function in any recognizable manner and Pompeo has no interest in resuscitating that ‘house of wimps,’" he said.

As for the CIA, it will continue on its present blinkered, politicized way, Brenner concluded.

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