Nation: Welcome to an Impossible Job

What experts think it takes to succeed at State

The Secretary of State must deal with more than 140 countries around the world. He must manage a sprawling 15,000-person bureaucracy. He must justify his policies to a Congress that lately has seemed ever more inclined to put strings on his freedom of action. And he must do all this in a world of instant communications that flash events in far-off nations onto American TV screens as fullblown crises, moments after they occur.

It may sound like an impossible job —and in fact only a handful...

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