Kissinger High on Obama-Clinton Team
Obama's sound choices pose cooperative challenges
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Dec 5, 2008 10:35 AM CST
President-elect Barack Obama, left, stands with Secretary of State-designate Sen. Hillary Clinton and National Security Adviser-designate Gen. James Jones, right, at a news conference in Chicago.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
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(Newser) – Barack Obama wasn’t afraid to take risks in choosing his national security team, and the outcome has left Henry Kissinger optimistic, he writes in the Washington Post. Each member comes to the “team of heavyweights” with well-established views and an “autonomous constituency.” That could mean a battle of wills, but each member’s abilities encourage “the hope that America is moving beyond its divisions to its opportunities.”

Obama and Hillary Clinton must join forces with minimal fallout: “secretaries of state are influential if and only if they are perceived as extensions of the president,” Kissinger notes. Gen. James L. Jones brings unprecedented “command experience” to the post of national security adviser, where he’ll have unfettered access to the president. And Bush holdover defense secretary Robert Gates will provide balance as a “guarantor of continuity but also the shepherd of necessary innovation.”