Global Politics

Obama's foreign policy team

It looks as if Hillary Clinton will be the next Secretary of State, Robert Gates will stay on as Defense Secretary, and James Jones is a top contender for National Security Advisor. This analyst says these possible appointees means Obama is channeling his inner pragmatist rather than saying he'll just do anything-but-Bush. Even so there's pressure for change. This analyst says the big issue that a lot of people are pushing Obama on is to reengage early on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But the analyst says this is a tough not to crack and more than just a foreign policy issue. But Africa also needs attention because of humanitarian crises in Sudan, Somalia and Congo. One of Obama's key experts on Africa is Susan Rice, seen as a top contender for U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. This analyst says Rice is known for advocating for humanitarian intervention. Bush has repeatedly called for a resolution in Darfur and Sudan, but a resolution hasn't been brought about yet. But this analyst acknowledges that the Obama team is taking over during a time of nearly unprecedented foreign policy disarray because pressing concerns in North Korea, Iran, and other places which might prevent places like Africa from getting the attention it deserves. This professor says top officials at the State Department and the U.N. can feel like they're far from influence in Washington.

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