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More on the Obama National-Security Team

Jul 31, 2020
To build on my colleague Matt DeLong’s post, the big question I had when Obama was getting ready to announce his national security team was whether he would present the contours of a first-term agenda for them to debate and enact, as he did with his economic team. If he didn’t, the team might look like the mid-2000s New York Yankees: a collection of All-Stars with little mutual warmth and dubious internal cohesion.
Instead, Obama presented a clear picture of what he intends to do. Withdraw from Iraq along his 16-month timetable, “but I will listen to the recommendations of [military] commanders.” Renew efforts against Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. Confront the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Reduce the dependency on foreign oil. And, as my last post indicated, re-calibrate the balance between civilian and military efforts in U.S. national security to use what Vice President-elect Biden called the “totality” of options.
What’s more, Obama gave an indication of his governing style — or, at least, an indication of what to look for to judge the success of his governing style. “I am a strong believer in strong personalities and strong decisions. That’s how the how best decisions are made,” he said at his press conference. “But understand that I will be setting policy, [and will be] responsible for presenting the vision [that]… this team will implement.” It was significant in that regard that, for instance, right as he announced his choice to retain Bob Gates at the Pentagon, Obama said Gates “knows I will be giving him and the military a new mission as soon as I take office: responsibly ending war in Iraq.” In other words, Obama will expect debate to proceed within the parameters of his agenda. And that agenda is a progressive one.
I wonder: is Obama the chief executive that President George Bush always thought of himself as? Discuss.
Camilo Wood

Camilo Wood

Camilo Wood has over two decades of experience as a writer and journalist, specializing in finance and economics. With a degree in Economics and a background in financial research and analysis, Camilo brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to his writing. Throughout his career, Camilo has contributed to numerous publications, covering a wide range of topics such as global economic trends, investment strategies, and market analysis. His articles are recognized for their insightful analysis and clear explanations, making complex financial concepts accessible to readers. Camilo's experience includes working in roles related to financial reporting, analysis, and commentary, allowing him to provide readers with accurate and trustworthy information. His dedication to journalistic integrity and commitment to delivering high-quality content make him a trusted voice in the fields of finance and journalism.
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