Obama Shakeup Puts Syria Action on Front Burner

Rice and Power Both Outspoken Supporters of Intervention in General

by Jason Ditz, June 05, 2013

The ouster of Tom Donilon from the position of National Security Adviser (NSA) in favor of Susan Rice portends a much more hawkish voice in the powerful advisory position, and introduces another hawk, Samantha Power, to a position of influence.

The NSA position, under Obama, has been arguably more important than the Secretary of State position, and Rice’s move into it makes her the nation’s top foreign policy planner, and one with a keen eye on military intervention in Syria.

Donilon, by contrast, was focused on the “Asian pivot” and getting the US relatively less militarily involved globally, while staying out of the policy limelight. Rice, by contrast, is likely to be more public and more bellicose on her belief in the US military as a global force for change.

Taking Rice’s place at the UN is Samantha Power, a long-time adviser for Obama who is seen as having driven US involvement in the attack on Libya and the NATO-imposed regime change, arguing that the US had a “moral obligation” to do so. She is seen to be bringing that same position to the Syria situation, again on “humanitarian” grounds.

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