State Department a Mess?
Robert Novak‘s column today pours more cold water on the prospects of turning around the mess in the Middle East.
Republicans in Congress who do not want to be quoted tell me that the State Department under Condoleezza Rice is a mess. This comes at a time when the U.S. global position is precarious. While attention is focused on Iraq, American diplomacy is being tested worldwide — in Afghanistan, Iran, Israel, Korea and Sudan. The judgment by thoughtful Republicans is that Rice has failed to manage that endeavor.
Rice’s previous government duties had been as an analyst and staffer rather than as a manager. That made it important for her to name a strong deputy secretary to run the building.
The rest of the piece reveals discusses the messiness of that endeavor, likely fed by the disgruntled. Still, the combination of poor management, massive egos, and a rebellious bureaucracy sounds quite plausible.
I would note, too, that Condi Rice seems to have dropped off the list of favored presidential candidates touted by the enthusiasts.