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Looks like the miserable failure of the neocon era is coming to an end, with Bush finally going towards a more traditional foreign policy. It's probably too late for him to salvage any sort of positive legacy (outside of those blinded by love), but he can at least try not to be the worst president in American history.
WASHINGTON — Senior career diplomats are retaking control of key elements of U.S. foreign policy and have begun to assert significant influence as the Bush administration enters its waning months eager to salvage a legacy marred by the Iraq war.
Since assuming the helm at the State Department in 2005, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has installed veteran foreign service officers with more than 200 years of collective diplomatic experience in seven critical posts from the Middle East to South Asia and the Far East.
By contrast, their immediate predecessors had just 72 years of combined experience and five of them were Republican political operatives with limited or no background in diplomacy, according to an Associated Press survey of senior agency appointees.
While the departure of prominent conservative hawks, including Donald H. Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz from the Pentagon and John Bolton from the State Department, is well-documented, the quiet climb to influence of Rice's choices for top jobs has been less public even as they have started to steer new courses.
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