• Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Subscribe
  • RSS

Gates Staying as SECDEF

It’s being widely reported that Bob Gates has agreed to stay on, at least for a time, as Secretary of Defense.   Politico’s Mike Allen fills in the rest of the foreign policy team:

Obama plans to announce a national-security team early next week that includes Gates at the Pentagon and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) as secretary of state, officials said.

Retired Marine Gen. James Jones, former Marine commandant and commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Europe, will be named national security adviser, the officials said.  The national security adviser heads the National Security Council, which is the part of the White House structure that deals with foreign policy, and varies in influence from presidency to presidency. Jones insisted on — and got — a commanding role, the sources said.

Democrats familiar with the national-security event early next week said they also expect James Steinberg, who was deputy national security adviser in the Clinton administration, to be named deputy secretary of State; Susan Rice, Obama’s senior foreign policy adviser on the campaign, to be named U.S. ambassador to the United Nations; and retired Adm. Dennis Blair, the former commander-in-chief of the U.S. Pacific Command and a veteran of the NSC, Central Intelligence Agency and Joint Chiefs of Staff, to be named the director of national intelligence.

Tom Donilon, an assistant secretary of state for public affairs and chief of staff at the U.S. Department of State during the Clinton administration, is a leading candidate to be Jones’ deputy at the NSC, officials said.

With the exception of Clinton, all have very impressive foreign affairs credentials and even she brings a high profile and a reputation for being a workhorse.

Rice has to be somewhat disappointed.   She’s only a year older than I am, so UN Ambassador is a perfectly prestigious post.  Still, her (no relation) namesake, Condoleeza Rice, held the same position in Bush’s campaign and wound up as National Security Advisor.  Ditto Anthony Lake, who advised Bill Clinton during the 1992 campaign.   She has served in senior positions on both the NSC and at State, so she’s certainly qualified.

UPDATE: An amusing result of Obama’s appointing people to his right to all three top foreign policy positions is that Max Boot is thrilled and Chris Bowers is bummed.

Related Posts:

About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He has a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. Wizbang says:

    Bob Gates to stay on as SECDEF in Obama administration?…

    As Politico’s Mike Allen reports- Defense Secretary Robert Gates has agreed to stay on under President-elect Barack Obama, according to officials in both parties. Obama plans to announce a national-security……

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  2. sam says:

    An amusing result of Obama’s appointing people to his right to all three top foreign policy positions is that Max Boot is thrilled and Chris Bowers is bummed.

    Damned for what he does and damned for what he doesn’t do. Sounds pretty good to me. As night descends on Wingnuttia, a dirge can be heard throughout the land: “Obama, we hardly knew ye, and thou hast undone us. Lawd have mercy.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  3. Dave Schuler says:

    When expectations are so high, there’s only one way to go.

    Was it Albert Einstein who said that the definition of insanity was doing the same thing and expecting different results? I avidly disliked the Wilson neo-conservatives but I think that we need to remember that a tremendous laundry list of the complaints that people in the Middle East (for example) have against us were the result of realist foreign policies.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  4. anjin-san says:

    I think that we need to remember that a tremendous laundry list of the complaints that people in the Middle East (for example) have against us were the result of realist foreign policies.

    Realist foreign policies? You mean like “Saddam has WMD that can strike us at any time and we have no choice but to go to war to take them out”?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  5. Dave Schuler says:

    anjin-san, it may have escaped your notice but our foreign policy WRT the Middle East was screwed up before George W. Bush became president. His policies haven’t helped but that shouldn’t be construed as him being the sole cause of our problems there.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  6. anjin-san says:

    that shouldn’t be construed as him being the sole cause of our problems there.

    Did I say that it was? Don’t think so. But it was a mistake of historic proportions.

    There are a lot of factors. Our inability to move away from oil dependency has let to our support for dictatorial regimes in the Middle East. That is another big factor. One in a long list.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  7. SavageView says:

    How could he choose Gates when Rumsfeld, the most successful SOD serving the most successful POTUS ever, was available?

    Santorum/Keyes ’12!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  8. Dave Schuler says:

    Did I say that it was? Don’t think so. But it was a mistake of historic proportions.

    Either you did or this comment is a non sequitur.

    Just to be very clear about my position: both realist foreign policies and neo-conservative ones have gotten us into trouble in the Middle East. Going back to a realist stance isn’t an improvement. Before our occupation of Iraq, before the invasion of Iraq, before George W. Bush we were hated in the Middle East because of realist policies.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  9. Brett says:

    Do you think the Jones-as-National Security Adviser is a good choice? At least from what I’ve read, a good National Security Adviser is someone who is close to the President (although they may not necessarily like each other a lot), and who can give good, candid advice. How well does Obama know Jones?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  10. James Joyner says:

    Brett:

    Jones is my boss’ boss, so I can’t really comment on his qualifications. My understanding is that Obama sought out and received advice from Jones during the campaign (as did McCain) and the report cited here is that Jones had gotten assurances of real power. One imagines he and Gates have worked crossed paths in the past, which likely helps.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  11. Drew says:

    Obama’s a crafty guy. He successfully campaigned against McCain as the guy who would run “Bush’s third term”……..so he could appoint Gates and Obama could run Bush’s third term !!

    And he’s appareently not touching Bush’s tax policy either.

    Boy, reality is a lot tougher than “Hope” and “Change” mantra…..eh, Barry?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  12. Dantheman says:

    “And he’s appareently not touching Bush’s tax policy either.”

    He’s publicly suggesting everytime he can for the 2001 and 2003 income tax reductions and elimination of the estate tax to be made permanent? Cites, please.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0