Rex Tillerson officially leaves the State Department today after firing by Trump

Rex Tillerson officially leaves the State Department today after firing by Trump

He will officially step down to be replaced by CIA Director Mike Pompeo.

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Photo: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

Today, sacked US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will officially step down to be replaced by CIA Director Mike Pompeo.

Since entering office just over a year ago, Tillerson has had a strained relationship with President Donald Trump. The two disagreed on key aspects of US foreign policy such as the Iran nuclear deal and next steps regarding North Korea. Additionally, tensions were often exacerbated by insults and contradicting reports on US policy.

Considered to be hawkish, Pompeo’s stance on US foreign policy is more similar to Trump’s, especially in regards to the Iran deal which they both have criticised heavily. One key difference lies in their perspectives of Russia, with Pompeo labelling Moscow as a substantial threat to world peace.

With the recent appointment of John Bolton to National Security Advisor, the administration seems to be pivoting towards a more aggressive foreign policy. Likely to be confirmed by Congress next month, Pompeo’s radical stance towards US rivals will likely increase the potential for conflict in regions such as the Korean Peninsula in the coming months.