President Obama's New National Security Team

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  • July 2013

    United States President Barack Obama's new national security team for his second term in office was finally put in place at the end of February. It is an impressive team of men who share Obama's worldview and seem likely to accept the White House lead preferred by this president. The one woman, Susan Rice, added to the team as National Security Adviser in May reinforces the public image of foreign policy shaped by Obama. Their effectiveness, however, depends on more than their managerial abilities or collegiality, and the month-long unique and bruising battle in the Senate over the confirmation of defense secretary Chuck Hagel's nomination revealed some of the difficulties they will face at home, to say nothing of obstacles abroad. We describe the team briefly, look at what the confirmation process tells us about a currently dysfunctional political system in the US, and ask what might be expected from them in the near future as problems surface in many parts of the world, including the Indo-Pacific region.