Scuttle Diplomacy

Breathless reporting from Matthew Lee on our Secretary of State:

Expected in Brussels on Tuesday for a NATO meeting on Ukraine, Kerry huddled with aides and spoke with his Mideast negotiators as well as Israeli and Palestinian leaders. After several hours of agonizing, he pulled the trigger on a move he’d been contemplating for 48 hours: NATO could wait; he would fly to Israel in a last-ditch bid to salvage the peace talks.

It was just one in a series of abrupt decisions that turned a routine trip abroad to accompany President Barack Obama to the Netherlands, Italy and Saudi Arabia into a frenetic tour of high-stakes diplomacy, replete with midair changes in flight plans and an astonishing amount of the seat-of-the-pants decision-making that already has come to define Kerry’s 14-month tenure as secretary of state.

Not one to decline a challenge, Kerry has never shied away from last-minute changes of plans.


Kerry is reacting to events, not mastering them or creating goals based on a coherent worldview. This is what happens when you lack a coherent strategy.

He’ll keep racing around, faster and faster, accomplishing less and less.


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