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Outside the workplace, despite 100 days of close to-apocalyptic predictions, America has not gone to conflict with China, Russia, Iran or North Korea. It has not formally backed away from NATO, the Paris climate accords or the Iranian nuclear deal. Tillerson has started to do some Secretary of State-ish representational issues, joining Trump and Chinese Premier Xi Jinping at their Mar-a-Lago summit, making prepared remarks , and attending international meetings, most notably with Russian President Vladimir Putin on April 12.
The big swinging bat of consular work, nonetheless, is visa issuance. Visas are what fills the American financial system with vacationers, Silicon Valley with engineers and universities with overseas students. Visas are the State Department’s money cow: in FY2015 Consular issued near eleven million tourist, employee and scholar visas at a typical charge of $160. That’s well over $1.7 billion in income along with the funds Congress allots State. Consular holds a money surplus whose greenback quantity is without doubt one of the most intently held non-national safety secrets inside authorities.
In the tip, giving more money to the State Department and less to Defense will not be in and of itself a solution. Sequestration has induced great problems at the Pentagon, particularly among the civilian parts within the Office of the Secretary of Defense that oversee the army. And the State Department has many profound bureaucratic challenges that money alone can not repair.
That apparently is what you get when Rex Tillerson, the former chief executive of Exxon Mobil who has no authorities experience, becomes secretary of state. President Trump and others have long rhapsodized about the value of bringing business abilities to government. However helpful these abilities are, operating a enterprise is just not the same as leading the free world in an era of multiple, advanced crises.