Pompeo, a hawkish pick, could give State Department new life

By MATTHEW LEE | Tue, March 13, 2018 05:54 EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — Mike Pompeo's hawkish instincts may seem at odds with traditional diplomatic norms.

But after 14 demoralizing months of budget cuts and staffing reductions for the State Department, his conservative political bent and closeness to President Donald Trump could breathe new vigor into an agency all too often sidelined on many of the nation's most pressing national security matters under Rex Tillerson.

Pompeo, the outgoing CIA chief, will bring a new, blunt-speaking style to the job of secretary of state, strikingly different from Tillerson's understated approach. Pompeo's arrival in Foggy Bottom also promises far more aggressive stances on Iran and North Korea, and he'll start with Trump's full confidence — something Tillerson never enjoyed. And while Tillerson was widely criticized for aloof management, the department may encounter the opposite in Pompeo.

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