Welcoming The Obama National Security Team

The Arena asked us contributors to . . . well . . . contribute. As I write here, I find it interesting that the President-elect appears to be backing away from his commitment to remove troops from Iraq in 16 months and his approach on decision-making seems to be lifted straight from the playbooks of George W. Bush and John McCain. This probably won’t get the President-elect the same level of opprobrium, of course; the President-elect’s current rapturous honeymoon precludes this sort of thing. But someone ought to point out the irony. We were asked to consider whether Bill Clinton would come along as an asset or a liability given the appointment of Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State. In the business, this is what is called a “gimme.”

Considering the general issue further, I wanted to weigh in as well on Hillary Clinton’s executive experience and what it bodes for her leadership at Foggy Bottom, as well as how the reappointment of Robert Gates as Defense Secretary–a reappointment I look upon with great favor–could be botched. I do so in a follow-up here.