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12/13/16

THE TRUMP DOCTRINE: Alliance Between Russia - US? As Tillerson - Putin′s friend becomes Trump′s Secretary of State

He's not even on the job yet, and Rex Tillerson is already facing a stiff headwind: The 64-year-old has no government experience; as the CEO of Exxon Mobil Corporation he cut business deals with autocrats, even allowing them to pin medals on his chest. Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio tweeted that he doesn't want a friend of Putin's in the State Department. Senator John McCain of Arizona, also a Republican, criticized Tillerson's close ties to the Kremlin as well. New Jersey Democratic Senator Bob Menendez called the decision "absurd." Others will join the chorus of critics. None of this bodes well for the Senate confirmation hearing that the future secretary of state will face. Majority approval seems anything but certain.

Nevertheless, Donald Trump has chosen him, and thus chosen to pick yet another fight with his own party. Why?

Both men see foreign policy as a business endeavor. And, to a certain degree it is - especially in the USA. But it is also something more. What about areas in which the USA has nothing to gain financially; for instance, when it comes to defending human rights? Those who are engaged in defending human dignity around the globe generally don't make a lot of friends - especially among dictators. For decades, American secretaries of state have done just that alongside their colleagues in Western Europe. And they have been successful if one considers the growing number of democracies throughout the world.

Note EU-Digest: the EU better start preparing a plan B in case the US cuts off their umbilical cord with the US, on which they have come to rely so heavily.

Read more: Opinion: Rex Tillerson - Putin′s friend and Trump′s secretary of state | Opinion | DW.COM | 13.12.2016

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