A survey of American scholars of international relations has ranked US Secretary of State John Kerry the least competent officer to hold the position in the past 50 years. The survey, conducted by Foreign Policy magazine, ranked Kerry 13th of 13.
The annual Ivory Tower survey polled over 1,600 scholars from 1,375 colleges across the US, asking questions about a range of issues, from the best programs of study to policy itself.
Henry Kissinger was chosen as the top diplomat, with 32.32 percent of those polled naming him the best at his job. Kerry received less than 0.5 percent of the vote. Kerry’s predecessor, Hillary Clinton, and Madeleine Albright tied for fourth place with 8.7 percent.
Those polled ranked climate change as the most pressing foreign policy issue (40.96 percent), followed by armed conflict in the Middle East (26.81). World terrorism ranked fifth (21.23).
Kerry has faced some serious challenges in his role as Secretary of State. During his tenure, he has had to deal with the rise of the Islamic State (ISIS), crisis in the Ukraine and Russian hostilities, Iran’s nuclear ambitions and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
In Israel, he is faulted for his failures in the last two matters in particular. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly expressed Israel’s position that a bad deal would be worse than no deal at all with Iran, and current reports suggest that the US is on the verge of conceding to most of Iran’s demands. There is a fear that the deal in progress at the moment would leave Iran with the ability to build a nuclear bomb in a very short time.
On the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Kerry is perceived as having handled the 2013-2014 peace talks poorly, as well as the recent Operation Protective Edge in Gaza. Netanyahu, however, has publicly praised Kerry for his efforts, and the Israeli opposition in fact blames Netanyahu for the failed peace talks.