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National Security Adviser Jim Jones to leave White House

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By Sam Youngman

President Obama’s National Security Adviser Jim Jones will resign from the White House in two weeks, a senior administration official said.

Obama will announce that Jones, a retired Marine general, will be replaced by Deputy National Security Adviser Tom Donilon in a Rose Garden statement Friday afternoon.

Jones’s departure is just the latest personnel move for a West Wing increasingly turning over before the midterm election.

White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel departed on Friday to run for mayor of Chicago. Larry Summers, Obama’s chief economic adviser, is leaving after the election and two other members of Obama’s team resigned over the summer.

Donilon, who had been seen as a possible successor to Emanuel, is not a surprising choice to replace Jones, who reportedly viewed Donilon as his replacement from the beginning of the administration.

According to “Obama’s Wars” by Bob Woodward, Jones gave Donilon three pieces of advice during a performance review.

Jones said Donilon needed to travel to Iraq and Afghanistan, something he had not done before. He also needed to learn to tone down his declarative opinions of military leaders he had never met and develop a feel for the personal lives of NSC staffers.

Donilon has since visited Afghanistan, accompanying Obama there in March for a brief stop.

One White House official noted that Donilon was “very engaged in working all the trips and visits and framing how these trips advance U.S. interests and the president’s vision for foreign policy.”

Not everyone in the administration agreed with Jones, according to Woodward.

In the same book, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said promoting Donilon would be a “disaster.”

A White House official said Friday morning that the NSC team rejects the idea that there is a rift between Donilon and the Pentagon. Specifically, the official said, Donilon has a “fantastic relationship” with his counterpart on the joint chiefs of staff Major Gen. James Cartwright.

“We would certainly take issue with any sense that there’s any kind of strain there,” the official said. “He has, in advancing the president’s views, he has asked for clarity and sharpness.”

As deputy, Donilon has already “interacted extensively almost as a principal already.”

Known for his work ethic and organizational abilities, Donilon has chaired more than 300 deputies’ committee meetings, and one official noted that there has “not been much leakage” from those.

Donilon has also been responsible for preparing Obama’s daily intelligence briefing.

Source: The Hill

The White House said that one strength of Donilon’s are his relationships with members of Congress on both sides of the aisle and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.


Written by Theophyle

October 8, 2010 at 7:53 pm

Posted in Geo Files, Military, The Hill, USA

Tagged with , , ,

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