Submitted by Lawrence E. Rafferty (rafflaw)-Guest Blogger
We have seen the Republicans falling all over themselves to claim that the UN Ambassador, Susan Rice, should not be our next Secretary of State following her statements in our Libyan Ambassador’s death at the hands of terrorists. Former GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney and Sen. John McCain were at the forefront of the attacks on Ambassador Rice. “Shortly after Romney conceded his loss earlier this month, McCain set his sites on UN Ambassador Susan Rice, a likely nominee to succeed Secretary of State Hilary Clinton. Pointing to several television appearances where Rice communicated the intelligence community’s as-yet imperfect understanding of what happened during the Benghazi attacks, McCain promised that “I will do everything in my power to block her from becoming Secretary of State.” ‘ Think Progress
Now it seems that not only has McCain backed off his promises to block Ambassador Rice’s rumored nomination to succeed retiring Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, but a prominent Republican is actually advocating her as a better Secretary of State candidate than Senator John Kerry because it was alleged that Kerry is against War! “Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol on Sunday suggested that Republican senators should confirm United States Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice if she is nominated as secretary of state because she is more likely to support going to war than Sen. John Kerry (D-MA). ” Raw Story
I realize that Mr. Kristol has been proven to be wrong in many of his predictions, but I was actually more intrigued by his reasoning. He is suggesting that the Secretary of State should be a fervent supporter of going to war as opposed to using the mechanisms of Diplomacy to avoid wars! Should any potential nominee for Secretary of State be disqualified because that nominee favors avoiding wars, if at all possible?
Where would our country be if we followed Mr. Kristol’s argument? One possible answer is that we would be embroiled in another unnecessary war like Iraq. What do you think are the proper qualifications for a Secretary of State? I think that a Secretary of State should be a firm believer in the diplomatic process and any experience in that process and/or foreign policy matters would be a plus.
While I would not disqualify a Secretary of State nominee for being an advocate for a particular military engagement, I would want our Secretary of State to consider diplomacy first. If you look at our recent Secretary’s of State, most of them had foreign policy and/or diplomacy experience. Of course, one could argue that being a Senator, even with Foreign Relations Committee experience alone is not enough to qualify a person to be Secretary of State. Just like being a former Four Star General alone, may not be enough to qualify a person to be Secretary of State.
Can you describe what experience you would require your Secretary of State should have? Should a Secretary of State be a professional Diplomat or is the position more administrative than diplomatic? Should Sen. Kerry’s opposition to some military engagements be a detriment to his possible nomination? What do you think?