Kerry ranked least effective US diplomat in past 50 years
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Kerry ranked least effective US diplomat in past 50 years

Foreign Policy magazine's survey of international relations experts does not reflect well upon the secretary of state

US Secretary of State John Kerry at the State Department in Washington, DC, December 10, 2014. (photo credit. AFP/JIM WATSON / FILES)
US Secretary of State John Kerry at the State Department in Washington, DC, December 10, 2014. (photo credit. AFP/JIM WATSON / FILES)

A survey of US international relations scholars has ranked Secretary of State John Kerry as the least effective person to hold the post in the past 50 years.

The yearly Ivory Tower survey conducted by Foreign Policy magazine polled over 1,600 scholars from 1,375 colleges throughout the US on the best schools and study programs in their field as well as various policy issues.

Asked who was the most effective secretary of state in he past 50 years, the majority chose Henry Kissinger (32.32 percent) while only 0.31% chose Kerry, leaving him in the 13th and last spot. Kerry’s predecessor Hillary Clinton was ranked at number 4 along with Madeleine Albright, both garnering 8.7% of the vote.

As for the most pressing foreign policy issues, armed conflict in the Middle East came in at number 2 with 26.81% of the vote, with climate change leading the pack (40.96%) and global terrorism at number 5 (21.23%).

Kerry has had to tackle numerous complicated challenges during his tenure, among them the rise of Islamic State, the crisis in Ukraine and the growing hostilities with Russia, Iran’s nuclear ambitions and the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The secretary has suffered withering criticism in Israel over his handling of the last two: Israeli leaders perceive the US position in nuclear negotiations as weak and appeasing and believe the US may be on the verge of allowing Iran to become a nuclear threshold state.

Some in government may have lost trust in Kerry as a mediator with the Palestinians, due to what they perceive as his poor handling of the 2013-2014 peace talks and last year’s war with Hamas in Gaza, although Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has publicly praised Kerry’s efforts and Israeli opposition leaders have blamed Netanyahu, not Kerry, for the deadlock.

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