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It’s a start: The Trump administration is looking to eliminate about 9% of the workforce in the State Department.
The majority of the job cuts, about 1,700, will come through attrition, while the remaining 600 will be done via buyouts, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the decision hasn’t been publicly announced. William Inglee, a former Lockheed Martin Corp. official and policy adviser in Congress, is overseeing the budget cuts and briefed senior managers on the plan Wednesday, the people said.
The personnel cuts, which may be phased in over two years, represent the most concrete step taken by Tillerson as he seeks to reverse the expansion the department saw under former President Barack Obama’s administration and meet President Donald Trump’s demand — outlined in an executive order signed last month — to cut spending across federal agencies. A draft budget outline released in March for the year that begins Oct. 1 seeks a 28.5 percent reduction in State Department spending from fiscal 2016.
I am not fully cognizant of the history of State Department staffing, but I am willing to bet that these cuts will not reduce the staffing to levels seen prior to the Obama administration. Still, we can’t gain control of the federal government if we don’t start somewhere, and at least the Trump administration is making an effort, something neither Bush administration did.