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Thread: Obama’s Pentagon-in-Waiting

  1. #41
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    CNN reporting Gen. Jim Jones is a leading choice for NSA:

    http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com...urity-advisor/

  2. #42
    Council Member 120mm's Avatar
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    And don't even THINK about making any "Kool-Aid" jokes.....

  3. #43
    Council Member jkm_101_fso's Avatar
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    Default Gates to Stay

    Obama Plans to Retain Gates at Defense Department

    -PETER BAKER and THOM SHANKER

    WASHINGTON — President-elect Barack Obama has decided to keep Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates in his post, a show of bipartisan continuity in a time of war that will be the first time a Pentagon chief has been carried over from a president of a different party, Democrats close to the transition said Tuesday.

    Mr. Obama’s advisers were nearing a formal agreement with Mr. Gates to stay on for perhaps a year, the Democrats said, and they expected to announce the decision as early as next week, along with other choices for the national security team. The two sides have been working out details on how Mr. Gates would wield authority in a new administration.

    The move will give the new president a defense secretary with support on both sides of the aisle in Congress, as well as experience with foreign leaders around the world and respect among the senior military officer corps. But two years after President Bush picked him to lead the armed forces, Mr. Gates will now have to pivot from serving the commander in chief who started the Iraq war to serving one who has promised to end it.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/26/us...c73&ei=5087%0A
    Sir, what the hell are we doing?

  4. #44
    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Default Glad this one happened

    Susan Rice is an excellent choice. I met her on that visit and was impressed by her intellect and her willingness to speak and act clearly, with a corresponding intolerance for those who would dissimulate or quibble.

    Choice for U.N. Backs Action Against Mass Killings

    ...During her first run at the State Department, Ms. Rice was a point person in responding to Al Qaeda’s 1998 bombing of United States Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. But her most searing experience was visiting Rwanda after the 1994 genocide when she was still on the N.S.C. staff.

    As she later described the scene, the hundreds, if not thousands, of decomposing, hacked up bodies that she saw haunted her and fueled a desire to never let it happen again.

    “I swore to myself that if I ever faced such a crisis again, I would come down on the side of dramatic action, going down in flames if that was required,” she told The Atlantic Monthly in 2001. She eventually became a sharp critic of the Bush administration’s handling of the Darfur killings and last year testified before Congress on behalf of an American-led bombing campaign or naval blockade to force a recalcitrant Sudanese government to stop the slaughter.

  5. #45
    Moderator Steve Blair's Avatar
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    He did officially pick Jones as NSA, according to BBC, and Gates is also officially on (although they're listing him as the one Republican appointed to a cabinet post).
    "On the plains and mountains of the American West, the United States Army had once learned everything there was to learn about hit-and-run tactics and guerrilla warfare."
    T.R. Fehrenbach This Kind of War

  6. #46
    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Blair View Post
    He did officially pick Jones as NSA, according to BBC, and Gates is also officially on (although they're listing him as the one Republican appointed to a cabinet post).
    Funny I heard a Democratic party wonk this AM on CNN refer to him as "Admiral Jones"

  7. #47
    Moderator Steve Blair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Odom View Post
    Funny I heard a Democratic party wonk this AM on CNN refer to him as "Admiral Jones"
    Well...ya know...all those Joneses out there....it's easy for a talking head to get confused. Besides...general, admiral, marshal...it's all the same uniform, ain't it? Now if he'd gotten confused and referred to Representative Kennedy...that would be a whole other deal.....
    "On the plains and mountains of the American West, the United States Army had once learned everything there was to learn about hit-and-run tactics and guerrilla warfare."
    T.R. Fehrenbach This Kind of War

  8. #48
    Council Member Adam L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Blair View Post
    He did officially pick Jones as NSA, according to BBC, and Gates is also officially on (although they're listing him as the one Republican appointed to a cabinet post).
    I hope I'm wrong, but I think Gates is being kept on as part of a political ploy to appear bipartisan and moderate. I think Gates will last 2, maybe 3 years. All Obama has to do is wait 12-18 months and then force a disagreement, which will lead to his "disappointment" in the Secretary. At this point, the American people will view anything other than fairytale results (the good kind) in Iraq as failure. (They already do.) Eventually, Obama can make it a living hell for Gates to do his job, which will lead to Gates resignation. Well, that's what I would do if I were in Obama's position. Well.....if I were a politician.

    Adam L

  9. #49
    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
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    While I agree with an assessment that Gates tenure under Obama will be shorter than Obama's administration, I believe this to be by mutually agreed pre-design, both because Gates does not want to do this forever, and because Obama recognizes that none of the politicos sitting in the thinktank wings are better than what he has right now. I expect the lower ranks of senior civilians will begin transitioning right away, with a full transition in 2-3 years.

    I do not believe there is any ill intent or some "tricking" of Gates that requires some contrived drama replace him later.

  10. #50
    Council Member Uboat509's Avatar
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    I can't find the quote but I thought that I had read that Gates only wanted to do the job for another year anyway.

    SFC W

  11. #51
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    Default Today's Washington Post

    speculates about the DEPSEC and Under Secretary positions as well as ASD-SO/LIC. DEPSEC they suggest Richard Danzig, Michelle Flournoy, and aomebody else. USD-P they mention Michelle again as well as her co-chairing the DOD transition team. SO/LIC speculates Vickers stays.

    My own preference for the post Gates SECDEF is Michelle Flournoy - she is smart and knowledgeable and genuinely good folk.

    Cheers

    JohnT

  12. #52
    Council Member Van's Avatar
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    Default Folks, we're looking at this all wrong

    Think about some of the self-serving military "experts" Pres. Elect Obama could have picked for the top DoD slot (Clark, Sanchez, and McPeak, as previously mentioned) or as the National Security Advisor. He could have easily nominated and carried an appointtee with worse military credentials than Sen. Clinton. Obama has a history of telling campaign donors and political supporters who try to coerce him "Thank you for your support, now get out of my way", and this is mostly consistent to the pattern.

    I'm thinking the far left of the Democratic party is going to be very embittered and insisting that Pres. Obama doesn't have a 'mandate' in a few years. The down side is that too many Republicans will oppose him simply because he's a Democrat. If he keeps this up, the next few years might be OK.

  13. #53
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    Default Van - It's already started ...

    Here is one of many examples you can find from the left.

    Right-Wingers and Neocons Love Obama's Cabinet Appointments
    Posted by Jeremy Scahill, AlterNet at 9:51 AM on November 30, 2008.
    A collection of praise for Obama's White House team from Karl Rove, David Brooks, Henry Kissinger and more. ....
    http://www.alternet.org/blogs/peek/1..._appointments/

    and from the right

    December 1, 2008
    The End of the Affair
    Obama and the antiwar movement
    by Justin Raimondo
    As the euphoria of the Obama cult builds toward a climax and the pundits declaim the advent of Something Big, it's the small changes that concern me, particularly those that touch directly on my job, which is to sniff out the War Party wherever it is presently burrowed. The election of Barack Obama has been the signal for many of them to migrate like fleas from the carcasses of the campaigns they attached themselves to and hop on the warm body of the new administration, which presents a rather large target. It's a new day, and in the age of Obama, the War Party's battalions are massed on the ostensible Left. Now that's the kind of change I can believe in.
    .....
    Dionne's point, however, is this:

    "Obama's national security choices are already causing grumbling from parts of the antiwar left, even if Obama made clear six years ago that while he was with them on Iraq, he was not one of them."

    If you "progressives" are now feeling like someone who's been kicked out of bed before dawn, on one pretext or another – "Boy, was I drunk last night! I don't remember a thing!" – well, then, you can't say you weren't warned.
    http://antiwar.com/justin/

  14. #54
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    Default URL for JTF's comment ...

    A good article naming the potential players.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...102891_pf.html

  15. #55
    Council Member Adam L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob's World View Post
    I do not believe there is any ill intent or some "tricking" of Gates that requires some contrived drama replace him later.
    I was in no way suggeting anyone was "tricking" Gates, but I do believe that there is almost ALWAYS some ill intent in situations like this. Also, what I was trying to point out is that the set up is so good that the "drama" would not appear to be "contrived." I hope Uboat is correct in that Gates does not wish to continue as Sec. Def. for more than a year or so.

    Adam L
    Last edited by Adam L; 12-02-2008 at 08:39 PM.

  16. #56
    Council Member Ron Humphrey's Avatar
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    Post Although I understand your concern

    Quote Originally Posted by Adam L View Post
    I was in no way suggeting anyone was "tricking" Gates, but I do believe that there is almost ALWAYS some ill intent in situations like this. Also, what I was trying to point out is that the set up is so good that the "drama" would not appear to be contrived. I hope Uboat is correct in that Gates does not want to keep the job for more than a year or so.

    Adam L
    Have you considered that just possibly the new Pres just might figure that if he wants to get anywhere on his economic/social agendas here it is probably wiser to keep whats working so far on the defense side so as to not sidetrack his long term goals.

    I too worry that perhaps Gates might at some point be drawn into some type of principled confrontation but honestly that might not be as big a deal since he never advocated to stay on in the first place. The way its happening now however does at least provide him with the ability to perhaps have a much more well informed replacement whenever that might take place.

    IMHO he could stay on as long as it takes to fix whats broken but not sure anyone would actually expect that of him.
    Any man can destroy that which is around him, The rare man is he who can find beauty even in the darkest hours

    Cogitationis poenam nemo patitur

  17. #57
    Council Member Uboat509's Avatar
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    I stand corrected.

    Defense Secretary Robert Gates, speaking one day after he was formally tapped to stay on in the next administration, said Tuesday he has made an "open-ended" agreement to remain at the helm of the nation's military under Barack Obama.
    SFC W

  18. #58
    Council Member Adam L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Humphrey View Post
    Have you considered that just possibly the new Pres just might figure that if he wants to get anywhere on his economic/social agendas here it is probably wiser to keep whats working so far on the defense side so as to not sidetrack his long term goals.
    Yes, I have considered that, but I don't believe it to be so. In my opinion, a poor situation in Iraq would not hamper his ability to push his economic/social agendas. Most Americans are completely oblivious to what is actually going on in Iraq. A lot of Americans will always feel we are doing poorly in Iraq because they want to feel that way because of their social philosophy. A lot of Americans will always feel we are doing well in Iraq becaue the want to feel that way because of their social philosophy. The only political ramification of the Iraq War is whether or not we are in Iraq and what "stage" (increasing or reducing troops) we are in.

    Adam L

  19. #59
    Council Member Umar Al-Mokhtār's Avatar
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    Default From my perspective...

    I would not be surprised if the DepSecDef nod goes to either Danzig or Flournoy. Then in about nine months to a year Secretary Gates leaves as agreed and the Deputy is elevated to be the Secretary. I do not see "some type of principled confrontation" having to be concocted for Gate's departure. He's wanted to go back to A&M since day one. Perhaps we should instead give Obama credit for seeing it as unwise to change horses abruptly in the middle of the race. There's a possibility he has decided that keeping Gates at the helm for a period of time allows for a smoother transformation and allows his choice (if he has one) to get a firm hand on the reins before the turnover.

    Let's hope that the folks that work for the next NSA don't end up drinking any Kool Aide (I so had to throw that out there).
    "What is best in life?" "To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of the women."

  20. #60
    Council Member Adam L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Umar Al-Mokhtār View Post
    Let's hope that the folks that work for the next NSA don't end up drinking any Kool Aide (I so had to throw that out there).

    Wasn't it just hilarious when they were tossing around his name on the same day they were airing their piece on Jonestown. It took me a minute to figure out who they were talking about. I swear that for a second I thought Anderson Cooper was going to crack a joke about Jim Jones drinking the kool aide this time around. (For anyone who has missed it, AC has made a lot of "kool aide" comments during and since the convention about people who really believe in "Change." I never thought AC would seem to be the most cynical of everyone at CNN. How times have changed.)

    Adam L

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