America’s top diplomat, Rex Tillerson, spent much of last week working on a single issue: how to defuse the potentially explosive crisis in the oil- and gas-rich Persian Gulf after the Trump administration unexpectedly sided with one U.S. ally, Saudi Arabia, against another, Qatar.
Tillerson did not get very far.
It didn’t help that his boss, President Trump, undermined him, seemingly at every turn.
In meetings with senior officials from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and other nations, Tillerson urged all parties to remain “open to negotiation” but failed to push them closer.
At the core of the issue is a 13-point...