What are the implications of former Secretary of State Colin Powell’s resignation and the appointment of Condoleezza Rice by President Bush?
Rice has worked closely with the president as the national security advisor, has collaborated in the war on terror and she offers more of the same collaboration for the next four years. This is why Bush appointed her. However, Rice may share too much common ground with Bush and that a secretary of state who toes the line offers little to the administration.
Bush neither asked Powell to maintain or to resign his position; according to Powell, he would have considered maintaining his position if he were requested to by the president.
It is fairly common knowledge that Powell and the Bush administration had some conflicts, particularly between Powell and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.
For example, when Powell was pushing for sanctions against Iraq and seeking alliances to enforce the already existing sanctions against Iraq, Rumsfeld and the Bush administration were planning the imminent invasion and consequent battle on the ground.
Powell, a former four-star general who was a commander in the Persian Gulf War, aimed to bring about Saddam Hussein’s peaceful capitulation this time around. This was not a goal shared throughout the rest of the administration.
As Powell was flexing his diplomatic muscle in the chambers of the Security Council in the United Nations, Rumsfeld and Bush were flexing their balance-of-power muscles in the chambers of NATO, and the mobilization of forces began with Powell kept in the dark.
With this in mind, Powell’s resignation isn’t much of a surprise and neither is the fact that Bush didn’t request Powell’s services any longer, especially when you consider that Powell only wanted a single term.
Where will Rice take us in the next four years? Rice is an extremely intelligent person who graduated high school at the early age of 15 and consequently went to the University of Denver that same year.
She worked intensively on the Soviet Union and the consequent Russian Federation which formed after 1989, and she is respected throughout the world for her experience in foreign relations. The appointment of Rice is pending approval by the Senate.
From the foreign ministers who would comment, they believe Rice will harden foreign relations in comparison to the diplomatic Powell. Lithuania is one nation that supports the appointment of Rice due to the nation’s intimate relation with Rice that was founded during her years of work with the former USSR and modern Russia.
Some believe that Powell’s diplomacy was healthy for the administration
Filed Under: Opinion