Having landed in DC after a hectic trip to Africa, Rex Tillerson was greeted by this Trumpy tweet, “Mike Pompeo, Director of the CIA, will become our new Secretary of State. He will do a fantastic job! Thank you to Rex Tillerson for his service! Gina Haspel will become the new Director of the CIA, and the first woman so chosen. Congratulations to all!”

The Straits Times of Singapore castigated the whole issue and said , “From the outset, Rex Tillerson’s first trip to Africa looked half-hearted and token, but with the hindsight knowledge that the US Secretary of State was fired just two days in, his African hosts must be wondering why they bothered. Beyond US$533 million in humanitarian aid and some pat remarks about security and not getting too cozy with China, Tillerson’s main aim appeared to be clearing up the mess left by President Donald Trump’s reported dismissal of some African nations as “s***hole countries”(denied by Trump).

Trump’s corporate style of governance (chaos) has shown door to more than two dozen high and mid-level staffers and secretaries of US in last one year. In an article by Kauravi and Umar Waqar published in the Nation in Aug 2017 with the title, ‘The Fired White House’, the authors had predicted that Washington needed a staff of more than 100 senior ranking secretaries and deputies to accommodate the rage of Donald Trump to lead the White House up to next elections. It was also predicted by the duo, that Trump may have to be finally impeached before Christmas of 2018 to save the United States.

Barring the rhetoric, current state of governance in the White House is not only disturbing but also alarming. The global geostrategic and geo-economics landscape is undergoing changes at a very fast pace; something mentioned by Rex Tillerson in his farewell address to the press.

The challenges facing Trump team are summarized below:

The US-Iran standoff and strategic changes in Arabian Peninsula, warrants that sanity is given a chance through a cool and calculated diplomacy, Rex Tillerson was trying hard to     convince Trump that Iranian question be resolved through diplomatic maneuvering and      not use of military might.

On the issue of handling the alleged interference of Russia in last elections in the US and piling up of more stories involving Russia targeting of her double agents living in Europe, Rex Tillerson had followed the British stance; something the MI6 and CIA would want everyone to believe. Trump’s view of Russian Federation may be a result of a doctrine followed by Russian prime intelligence Agency SVR, called Reflexive Control. Vladimir Lefebvre’s theory of Reflexive Control codified by the western intelligence community states; ‘method of communicating the purposely designed information to a party, or a rival with the intent to bias them and adopt a voluntary’ decision for the benefit of the initiator’.

Although it is in the realm of speculation, however; an open debate in the US media points         to possibility of Russians getting hold of ‘Kompromat’ or compromising material on Donald Trump during his visit to Russia as chief guest in Miss Universe pageant in November 2013 held at Moscow. The alleged scandal took place in Ritz-Carlton Hotel Moscow and was leaked by Russians through British Intelligence and may form part of Russia-gate probe being conducted by Ex FBI director Robert Mueller. The Steele Dozier from former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele on ‘Trump Kompromat’ has morphed into a big scandal, however it has been rebutted by the Trump team.

The other challenges faced by US policy makers include, how to deal with Kim Jong Un on the North Eastern extremity of Asia and how to resuscitate the Heart of Asia, Afghanistan. Although pundits and hawks in the Western media are predicting that the US National Security team dominated by military (retired and serving) secretaries and advisors will take a hard stance against Iran and North Korea; it must be appreciated that change of guards in the power corridors of White House and Capitol Hill takes a while to settle down. Despite a system of briefings and institutional mechanism to pass on the baton, the State Department and CIA staff requires a reasonable amount of time to settle down and come into final gear under a new boss.

On Afghanistan, positive vibes are visible after thawing of relations between Pakistan and US, and, statement by U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis in Kabul who said, ‘I believes victory in Afghanistan is still possible, not necessarily on the battlefield but in facilitating a Taliban reconciliation with the Afghan government’. Pakistan has regained prominence for a peaceful settlement of Afghan imbroglio and must cash on the opportunity to push for a political settlement.

Apparently Trump’s way of governance has been based on a simple theory, kill the problems creating chaos by accentuating further chaos, something Trump has done in his building up of Trump business empire ;but, Trump should understand that United States is not a Trump Tower on the Chicago River. International system does not go to sleep during hiring and firing breaks in the White House, and, every day counts in enhancing or retarding the American National Interest. While the world may be disturbed by the chaos in the White House, this perception of instability in decision making cabal of the sole super power would tend to convince the international community that they can do without waiting for a nod from America in day to day business of international relations.

Even the simple and heartwarming Africans have shown their dismay with a chaotic White House. Strait Times quoted Nanjala Nyabola, a Kenyan writer and political analyst, who said “It’d be better for Africa if the Trump administration just ignored us because of the chaos and dysfunction within the administration. It’s interesting and disturbing to see the administration flounder so much and not really have a coherent response to any major challenges on the continent and elsewhere”.

Pat Utomi, professor of political economy at Lagos Business School (Nigeria) said, “American foreign policy has always treated Africa as a leftover, which is why it’s not a huge shock that Tillerson was in Africa while they fired him”.

With the allegations and scandal of Ms Stormy Daniels raising a new storm in US media; the Capitol Hill head honchos in the Republican Camp may have to listen to a projection by Senator John McCain in March 2017 stating that ‘lot of shoes will be dropped from this centipede (Russia-gate)’.

Is the Capitol Hill going to wait for Trump to drop his last shoe and let the republic melt away in further chaos, or move in to start the impeachment proceedings against Donald Trump to save the United States, we will have to wait and see, with our figures crossed.


The author is a freelance journalist.