George Shultz, one of our finest public servants, died last week at the age of 100. He held multiple high-level positions in Washington and, unlike most public servants, left a huge footprint wherever he served. As chief of the Office of Management and Budget, he made sure that the Nixon administration respected the importance of diversity and racial fairness; as Secretary of Labor, he established one of the government’s first affirmative action plans for minority employment at federally subsidized construction programs; as Secretary of the Treasury, he led the efforts of the Nixon administration to stabilize the international economy; and as Secretary of State in the Reagan administration, he contributed to ending the Cold War between Moscow and Washington and enhancing arms control and disarmament.
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Meet Our New “Secretary Of State”…Nancy Pelosi
In any event, Pelosi’s travel to the world’s worst trouble spots creates significant confusion regarding official U.S. policies and politics. In flexing the flabby diplomatic muscles of the U.S. Congress, Pelosi is engaging the international community without any obvious coordination with the White House or the Department of State. The notion that anyone from the House of Representatives could have an impact on U.S. foreign policy or diplomacy is particularly ludicrous. Unfortunately, her trips seemingly amount to a last hurrah.
The Dangerous Civilian-Military Chasm In America
One of the greatest weaknesses of presidential leadership over the past 60 years has been the lack of presidential experience in the military and the inability to control the military. Several weeks before his seminal Farewell Address, President Dwight D. Eisenhower told his senior advisers in the White House, “God help this country when someone sits in this chair who doesn’t know the military as well as I do.” His successors have been deferential to the military and too many of them have used military force to bolster their credentials. This has been a major factor in the expanded power of the military establishment.