Obama Foreign-Policy Team Signals Shift to Diplomacy

Clinton, Gates, Jones will lead diplomatic reform
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Dec 1, 2008 7:58 AM CST
President-elect Barack Obama is expected to name Robert Gates as his secretary of defense, having him continue in his current position.   (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari/file)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – The three lead players on the national security team Barack Obama will announce today have each historically been more hawkish than the president-elect—but all have embraced his plan for a sweeping foreign policy shift, the New York Times reports. Hillary Clinton, Gen. James Jones, and Robert Gates will work toward Obama’s goal of dramatically expanding diplomacy and foreign aid to reshape America's role overseas.

Obama’s hope to rebuild US leadership and wield what Gates called “soft power”—something the defense secretary has said was "gutted" by the Clinton and Bush administrations—constitutes “a rebalancing of America’s national security portfolio,” said an adviser, who called it “the great foreign policy experiment of the Obama presidency.” But questions remain over whether funds will be shifted away from the Pentagon to pay for the new initiatives.