Done Deal?

/ November 21, 2008 at 5:00 AM

The Washington Post is reporting on its Web site this afternoon that President-Elect Obama is "close" to naming his national security adviser -- retired Marine Corps Gen. James Jones.

The Jones appointment would put the one-time Marine Corps commandant and NATO commander in charge of managing an interagency process that many Democratic foreign policy experts contend has been broken under the Bush administration. . . .

In picking Jones to coordinate his team, Obama would be sending a powerful sign of a desire to conduct a non-partisan national security policy. Jones is also close to Sen. John McCain, his colleague as a military liaison to Capitol Hill in the 1970s, and stayed publicly neutral during the campaign, but quietly provided advice to Obama in telephone conversations, according to someone who knows both men. He is one of the few individuals in public life who likely would have been courted for government service regardless of the election's outcome.

"He would bring a lot of the military dimension to the job," said Wesley Clark, the retired four-star general who was one of Jones' predecessors as NATO commander. "And his non- partisanship at this juncture is really important. He provides a nonpartisan standard for the national interest--that would be the presumption given his previous experience."

Jones currently heads the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Institute for 21st Century Energy. His name circulated briefly as a possible vice-president pick, and he and Obama have discussed possible roles for Jones in an Obama administration since before the election.

Jones has not been silent of late, and we've been able to glean some of his latest thinking:

JONES WORRIES ABOUT UNDERFUNDING MILITARY ENGAGEMENT ACTIVITIES
Inside the Pentagon - November 20, 2008

The new administration must ensure U.S. combatant commanders receive adequate resources to support essential, global engagement activities that have faced budget challenges in wartime, retired Marine Gen. James Jones tells Inside the Pentagon.


JONES: NEW TEAM MUST BUILD ON ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN PROGRESS IN JENIN
Inside the Pentagon - November 13, 2008

Retired Marine Gen. James Jones, who served as the Bush administration’s special envoy for Middle East regional security, is urging President-elect Barack Obama's team to continue to foster improvements on the Israeli-occupied West Bank that could lay the foundation for a peaceful two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.


JONES MUM AS OBAMA TEAM MULLS POSSIBLE ROLE FOR RETIRED GENERAL
Inside the Pentagon - November 6, 2008

Retired Marine Gen. James Jones, who is reportedly being eyed for the job of national security adviser in the Obama White House, is not ruling out the possibility of joining the new administration.

-- Dan Dupont

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