Video | Photos | President Obama Announces Susan Rice as National Security Advisor & Samantha Power as UN Ambasador


Barack Obama, Susan Rice, Samantha Power


Obama Names Susan Rice To National Security Advisor Post
Photograph by Alex Wong/Getty


Susan Rice, Tom Donilon



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6 Responses to Video | Photos | President Obama Announces Susan Rice as National Security Advisor & Samantha Power as UN Ambasador

  1. rikyrah says:

    Susan Rice’s Benghazi sacrifice pushes Obama confidante to greater heights

    Secretary of state may have been the more prestigious job, but core of US foreign policy lies with the national security adviser

    The redemption of Susan Rice, President Obama’s next national security adviser, advances a recent institutional trend in US foreign policy: jobs that don’t require Senate approval are often more powerful than the ones that do.

    Rice, the close Obama confidante and United Nations ambassador, became congressional Republicans’ scapegoat in the Benghazi affair after she incorrectly told TV chat shows that the deadly September assault on the US consulate resulted from a protest over a YouTube video. Rice cautioned her statement that the facts were not fully known at the time of her appearances, but the damage was done. The resulting scandal prevented Rice from becoming Obama’s second-term secretary of state.

    It ended up benefiting her. Later on Wednesday, Obama will announce that Rice will replace national security adviser Tom Donilon. The job may not have been Rice’s first choice, but it is the more powerful one.

    At the White House, where the national security adviser works, Rice will command no budgets and run no agency. But she will be responsible for something more central to US foreign and national-security policies: co-ordinating the interaction between the various cabinet agencies to forge an unified agenda – and acting as the chief proxy on foreign policy for the president of the United States.

    The national security adviser is not formally more powerful than every department in the US foreign policy apparatus. He or she cannot order troops into battle; cannot manage budgets that eclipse those of domestic agencies; cannot release malicious software that ends up damaging the sensitive equipment of foreign adversaries. But the national security adviser channels the wishes of the president at the meetings where such decisions are reached. In the Obama administration, like the Bush administration before it, the White House is the place where US foreign policy comes into existence.

    The national security adviser also has a crucial advantage over his or her colleagues who run cabinet agencies and departments. The Senate has no influence over the appointment. He or she cannot be blocked from reaching the job, nor can presidential opponents in the Senate turn his or her confirmation hearings into high-profile forums to attack the administration, as occurred with defense secretary Chuck Hagel. Nor, absent truly exceptional circumstances, does the national security adviser have to testify to Congress about his or her performance on the job.

    Perhaps most ironically for Rice’s situation, the rise of the national security adviser has eclipsed the role of secretary of state. Over the years, the national security adviser, and even his or her staff, has increasingly played a large diplomatic role, a trend begun when Henry Kissinger occupied both national security adviser and secretary of state jobs simultaneously. Foreign leaders and their aides can wonder whether the secretary of state speaks with the president’s voice: Colin Powell, for instance, was famously out of sync with the foreign policy of President George W Bush. No foreign capital has that worry about the national security adviser.

    That’s why it was Donilon, and not secretary of state John Kerry, who negotiated the upcoming California meeting of Obama and Chinese president Xi Jinping. It is also why former White House counter-terrorism chief John Brennan was Obama’s chosen manager of the sensitive relationship with Yemen, increasingly a centerpiece of his shadow wars against al-Qaida. In Washington, as in foreign capitals, secretary of state is the more prestigious job, a vestige of an era when grand strategy began and was managed out of Foggy Bottom. But that era has largely passed: US foreign policy begins at the White House, and its most powerful implementer is the Defense Department, whose budget is an order of magnitude larger than the State Department’s.

  2. rikyrah says:

    Go Mr. President!!!

  3. Ametia says:


  4. Ametia says:



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