Center for American Progress

Present at the Destruction: How Rex Tillerson Is Wrecking the State Department
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Present at the Destruction: How Rex Tillerson Is Wrecking the State Department

Author Max Bergmann discusses how Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's destructive choices are causing the decline of the State Department.

The deconstruction of the State Department is well underway.

I recently returned to Foggy Bottom for the first time since January 20 to attend the departure of a former colleague and career midlevel official—something that had sadly become routine. In my six years at State as a political appointee, under the Obama administration, I had gone to countless of these events. They usually followed a similar pattern: slightly awkward, but endearing formalities, a sense of melancholy at the loss of a valued teammate. But, in the end, a rather jovial celebration of a colleague’s work. These events usually petered out quickly, since there is work to do. At the State Department, the unspoken mantra is: The mission goes on, and no one is irreplaceable. But this event did not follow that pattern. It felt more like a funeral, not for the departing colleague, but for the dying organization they were leaving behind.

The above excerpt was originally published in Politico. Click here to view the full article.

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Authors

Max Bergmann

Senior Fellow