The President’s national security team nominations and the future of foreign policy
January 10, 2013
In nominating Senator John Kerry as Secretary of State, Senator Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense and White House counter-terrorism advisor John Brennan to head the CIA, President Obama has signaled a change in the direction of American foreign policy that deemphasizes “boots on the ground” and emphasizes diplomacy and alliances. Senator Chuck Hagel is the subject of much controversy over his statements about Israel, his position on withdrawal from Afghanistan, and his ideas on dealing with Iran among others. As one of the President’s most trusted advisors, John Brennan has overseen the White House’s expanded strategy of using targeted drone strikes to kill terrorism suspects — another subject of debate within the foreign policy community. And in Senator Kerry, Obama selected a seasoned veteran in the foreign policy arena who has served for years as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. So what do these three cabinet-level national security team nominations tell us about how the President sees America’s place in the world? To answer this question and others, we’ll turn to MICHAEL HIRSH of the National Journal, HEATHER HURLBURT of the National Security Network, and DANIELLE PLETKA of the American Enterprise Institute.