Colin Powell’s tenure as Secretary of State did not produce much of a legacy. Credit for the major foreign policy related accomplishments of President Bush’s first four years — the overthrow of two rogue, terrorist-supporting regimes; their replacement by essentially democratic systems; the devastation of al Qaeda; the spread of hope for democracy in the Middle East — eludes Powell. The best that can be said of the former Secretary is that he reluctantly went along with Bush’s policies, except when he tried to undermine or back away from them through the art of leaking.
Strategic leaking, in fact, represents the true Powell legacy. And, the editors of National Review show it’s an ongoing one, as Powell attempts to undermine John Bolton’s nomination:
Since he has no strong philosophical moorings himself, Powell quickly became the servant of the permanent State Department establishment, for whom Bush’s post-9/11 reorienting of U.S. foreign policy was discomfiting at best. Bolton was not just a believer in Bush’s foreign policy, but regarded it as his professional duty to represent it in a building where he knew it wouldn’t make him popular. Yes, this occasionally meant clashes with bureaucratic underlings. This was sometimes necessary