Russia’s Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov has stated his desire to arrange a meeting with Donald Trump’s Secretary of State Rex Tillerson at the soonest possible date in order to discuss the pressing issues of Syria and the war in Donbass. As the lyrics to the T. Rex song go, ‘Get it on’.
But there is a problem when it comes to getting it on, most of Trump and Tillerson’s new team are not yet in place.
Lavrov stated the problem quite clearly,
“This process takes some time, because the entire Obama team at the US State Department left the place at their own initiative, as they stated. Now there are some career diplomats left there, with no bosses. Rex Tillerson, as a new person in this field, is now plunging into the details of the problems (we) have to work on. I’m sure that this process will be completed fairly quickly”.
The problem is that although there is a new President and new Secretary of State in America, the only people manning the State Department are low and mid-level managers left over from the Obama years. Because there is no one there to tell them what to do, ‘business as usual’ is the rule of the day.
This is yet another symptom of the arduous process of transitioning from one president to another in the US. There is no need for the process to take so long in the 21st century. The transition process which takes nearly three months between election and inauguration could and should be shorted to two weeks. Within a week there should be rapid confirmations of cabinet appointees who ought to be scrutinised only on their ethnics rather than their policies.
It is a right of a newly elected president to select a new cabinet and unless the choices are people who are criminally scandalous, they ought to be rubber stamped in short order. They are merely an outgrowth of the democratic choice Americans will have made when voting for a new President.
Hopefully as Lavrov says, the process will not take much longer. Then the world will really be able to ascertain what Trump’s foreign policy will look like in practice.