William Burns' journey says something about how the competence of Antony Blinken and his State Department is viewed
US President Joe Biden did it Posted abroad by CIA Director William Burnswho served as Secretary of State and Deputy Secretary of State under President Barack Obama, to try to broker an agreement between Israel and Hamas.
Details of exactly what Burns discussed with high-ranking diplomatic and intelligence officials from Egypt, Qatar and Israel are not known at this time. However, the latest Israeli proposal would reportedly see a 60-day cessation of fighting in exchange for the gradual release of more than 100 prisoners still held by Hamas, with women and children first, then civilian, military and army men. The remains of hostages who died in captivity.
While the CIA chief did meet with his peers from the intelligence community, his presence shows something that reflects poorly on the state of American diplomacy and implies a lack of interest. expertise In the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
It should be noted that the United States government has many different bureaus, bureaus, and departments that compete against each other for funding and influence. For decades, the CIA and State Department tried to stay separate. It has been noted, for example, by CIA founding member Miles Copeland Jr. that the State Department originally disliked some of its covert activities, such as agents using their diplomatic credentials as a cover. During the Cold War, the State Department not only refused to participate in CIA activities, Copeland said But they didn't even want to be aware of themAs happened in the case of the coup in Syria in the 1960s.
In the modern era, there has been a rapprochement between these two bodies, and others as well, which reflects the priorities of successive administrations. Under President George W. Bush, Colin Powell, a military man, became the first Secretary of State to serve on the Joint Chiefs of Staff while holding that position. It showed that Powell, Washington's top diplomat, was to be closely involved in the US war effort in Iraq and Afghanistan.
During the administration of former President Donald Trump, he promoted Mike Pompeo from CIA Director to Secretary of State. Thus, the Trump administration's foreign policy style shifted to a more aggressive and disruptive approach, mimicking the way the CIA conducts its business. This was specifically aimed at undermining China's comeback, as well as escalating tensions with Russia.
In contrast, President Joe Biden appointed William Burns, a veteran diplomat, as director of the CIA. According to Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, Colin Powell's former chief of staff, was chosen because of Burns's reliability, experience, and honesty—traits that have come to characterize a diplomat. Biden clearly did not want someone who gained his professional experience from the CIA to head the spy agency, perhaps because such people are vulnerable to what Pompeo described as… Lying, cheating and stealing.
The fact that the CIA director is closely involved in negotiations between Israel and Hamas, having already been part of the November agreement that led to the release of Palestinian and Israeli hostages and a week-long ceasefire, may well be the case. worrying. This can be interpreted to mean that the United States is not actually interested in real diplomacy, but rather in trying to threaten Hamas leaders into surrendering on behalf of West Jerusalem.
While this may indeed be the case, given that the Israeli government is committed to a complete military victory in Gaza and the Biden administration supports West Jerusalem almost unconditionally, it only speaks volumes about the fact that the State Department lacks the necessary leadership and knowledge. To deal with this situation.
While Burns was managing the negotiations between Israel and Hamas, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken was West Africa trip concluded Analysts believe it was an attempt by Washington to support transatlantic trade in light of the instability in the Middle East. As he stuck to it Same tired scenario Regarding China, citing debt-trap diplomacy and unfair trade and labor practices. while, Protesters sat outside Blinken's home in Arlington, Virginia He is demanding a ceasefire in Gaza – and seems unaware that he is not even the person leading the diplomatic efforts at the moment.
The lack of leadership on Blinken's behalf is evident at this critical moment in the conflict in Gaza, where American soldiers are dying in the Middle East and international trade is threatened by Houthi attacks on ships using the Suez Canal. The fact that the CIA had to intervene at this juncture shows the sorry state of American diplomacy and underscores the gradual but inevitable decline of American soft power.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of RT.