Obama's Team Defense

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Defense Secretary Robert Gates, second left, speaks as Vice President-elect Joe Biden, left, President-elect Barack Obama; and Secretary of State-designate Hillary Rodham Clinton, far right, listen at a news conference in Chicago, Dec. 1, 2008. (AP)
Defense Secretary Robert Gates speaks as Vice President-elect Joe Biden, far left, President-elect Barack Obama, and Secretary of State-designate Hillary Clinton listen at a news conference in Chicago, Dec. 1, 2008. (AP)

Yesterday, the president-elect officially named Hillary Clinton his pick for secretary of state; President Bush’s defense secretary, Robert Gates, as his defense secretary; big Jim Jones, Marine general, former NATO chief, and John McCain friend, as national security adviser; and more.

Big characters. Rivals. A-Team players. Not exactly anti-war. So what's the bottom line? The “change”?

This hour, On Point: Reading Obama’s national security team.Guests:

Joining us from Washington is David Ignatius, columnist for The Washington Post. His latest piece is "Obama's All-Star Roster." He is also co-moderator of PostGlobal, an online forum on international affairs at, and author of many books, including the novel "Body of Lies."

From New York, we're joined by Katrina vanden Heuvel, publisher and editor of The Nation, where she writes the Editor's Cut blog. Her latest entry is "Robert Gates: Wrong Man for the Job."

And from Monterey, California, we're joined by John Arquilla, professor of defense analysis at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School , specializing in unconventional warfare and terrorism. He's the author of, most recently, "Worst Enemy: The Reluctant Transformation of the American Military."

More links:

The New York Times' David Sanger writes about Obama's national security team and a "sweeping shift in foreign policy."

The Wall Street Journal's editorial page considers Obama's choice of Hillary Clinton for secretary of state.

David Corn at Congressional Quarterly weighs the importance of Obama's pick of retired General James Jones as national security adviser.

Susan Page at USA Today explores Hillary Clinton's future challenges running the State Department.

This program aired on December 2, 2008.


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