President-elect Barack Obama is set to announce his national-security team early next week, and reports from officials suggest that none of the appointees will do anything to stem the growing disquiet among antiwar activists about the hawkish composition of Obama’s team.
Besides making official the already widely reported appointment of Hillary Clinton as the next Secretary of State, it is now being confirmed by aides in both parties that Secretary of Defense Robert Gates will retain his position in the next administration.
Gates had been reported to be in contact with Obama for weeks, despite objections that Obama’s poll victory was a mandate for dramatic foreign policy change as opposed to a continuation of the current administration’s policies. Since the rumors about the appointment surfaced, Gates has publicly chided Russian President Dmitry Medvedev for not giving the Obama Administration ‘the welcome it deserves’ and calling for “significant” additions to the number of troops in Afghanistan, a policy long advocated by the president-elect.
Rounding out the team, Obama will appointed former Marine commandant Gen. James Jones as National Security Adviser. Gen. Jones is expected to wield enormous power as the NSA. A special envoy for Israeli-Palestinian security issues, Gen. Jones has advocated putting NATO troops in the West Bank.