Obama Gets First Taste of Commander-in-Chief Role

Gets first national security briefing, assembles staff
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 6, 2008 9:01 AM CST
In this July 20 file photo Barack Obama walks with Hamid Karzai in Kabul. Karzai yesterday called on the President Elect to cut down on civilian casualties in Afghanistan.   (AP Photo/Presidential Palace, HO)
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(Newser) – Barack Obama receives his first top-secret national intelligence briefing today, and with it his first taste of life as commander-in-chief, reports Time. Already international concerns are vying for Obama’s attention—Hamid Karzai is demanding the president-elect reduce civilian casualties in Afghanistan, and Pakistan’s PM wants him to end missile strikes in the border region—while Obama focuses on assembling his national security team ASAP.

Current chatter has ex-UN ambassador Richard Holbrooke and Chuck Hagel as top contenders for secretary of State; John Kerry denies reports he’s also seeking the job. For secretary of Defense, there’s a 50-50 chance Obama will ask Robert Gates to stick around for at least a year. Barring that, Clinton Navy Secretary Richard Danzig is the favorite. Danzig is an outspoken Bush critic, who believes the US must improve Afghanistan’s infrastructure.