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Trump fires Secretary of State Tillerson, citing 'different mindsets' (News Analysis)

IANS  |  New York 

dumped his top on Tuesday citing "a different mindset," especially on Iran, and nominated to replace him as

Pompeo, becoming the Secretary of State, will firm up the hardline leadership in the foreign policy and national security establishment, where those with military experience will dominate.

The change at the State Department is unlikely to have any impact on as the influential national security establishment have signed off on Trump's elevation of India's role in and the Indo-Pacific region and the approaches to those regions in general.

Although the announcement came abruptly in a tweet, Trump told reporters later: "Rex and I have been talking about this for a long time.

"We got along, actually, quite well but we disagreed on things," he said. "When you look at the deal, I think it's terrible, I guess he thought it was OK. I wanted to either break it or do something and he felt a little bit differently."

"With Mike, Mike Pompeo, we have a very similar thought process," Trump said. "I think it's going to go very well."

Tillerson's ouster follows the resignation of Trump's top economic adviser, Gary Cohn, who resigned as the of the this month.

Cohn, a former investment banker, opposed Trump's policy of imposing taxes on and aluminum imports, highlighting the ideological splits in the administration between the hardliners and the pragmatists.

Tillerson, a former executive, was long considered out of the policy loop made up of hardliners, and confirming it, Trump said they did not discuss his planned summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, the biggest foreign policy initiative of his administration so far.

"No, I really didn't discuss it very much with him, honestly," Trump said. "I made that decision by myself. Rex wasn't, as you know, in this country. I made the decision with consultation from many people but I made that decision by myself."

Tillerson was on a tour of to make amends for Trump's reported statements denigrating the continent and cut short his trip and returned home. was given last Friday as the official reason for his return.

Despite the humiliating firing with a tweet and calling back from a diplomatic tour, Trump asserted: "I actually got along well with Rex but really it was a different mindset, a different thinking."

Trump named as the CIA Director, that puts a woman at the of the intelligence agency for the first time.

and Haspel will have to be confirmed in their new posts by the Senate, a process during which the administration's security and foreign policies will be under scrutiny.

Tillerson was upstaged by Permanent Nikki Haley, a member of Trump's cabinet, on many of Trump's international priorities like Iran, North Korea, the and and

The first Indian American worked in concert with the national security establishment on these issues, sidelining Tillerson.

On Monday, she visited the UN with to brief and members of the on Washington's initiative on Pyongyang, a job more likely to have been conducted by a in previous administrations.

The former of the giant Exxon Mobil, Tillerson, was picked for the nation's top diplomatic job by Trump last year to further US economic interests, an initial priority.

However, the priorities have shifted with North Korea, and the taking centre stage.

Trump wants to junk the nuclear deal, the capstone diplomatic achievement of his predecessor

He has reluctantly certified twice to that Iran was complying with the terms of the nuclear agreement reached with it by the US along with the other Permanent Members and in 2015.

Washington's European allies - and and - stand behind the agreement. Although acting unilaterally would end it, would be isolated, a prospect Trump would not mind.

In contrast to Iran and the -- where he upset the status quo by recognising as Israel's capital, Trump -- has made a dramatic move on after months of vitriolic exchanges with Kim Jong Un, by agreeing to a summit.

The foreign policy-national security establishment is now headed by people with military backgrounds.

was a cavalry before entering as a member of the Republican Party's right wing and getting elected to

McMaster is also currently a Lieutenant General, although the post is held usually by civilians.

is a retired Marine Corps general.

Trump's of Staff is a former general, and even Haley has a military connection through her husband Michael, an Army officer, who has served in

Haspel is a career CIA who was promoted to deputy CIA last year.

(can be reached at arul.l@ians.in)

--IANS

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(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, March 13 2018. 21:24 IST
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