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McDonough elevated to deputy national security adviser

By Scott Wilson

Denis R. McDonough, a close confidante of President Obama and one of his fiercest defenders inside and outside the government, has been promoted to the post of deputy national security adviser, the White House announced Friday.

McDonough, who served as Obama's senior foreign policy adviser during the 2008 presidential campaign, has been working as the national security council's chief of staff. With his elevation, the 40-year-old McDonough becomes the most senior of several influential deputy national security advisers whom Obama often turns to for advice before higher-ranking members of his foreign policy team.

"For years, I have counted on Denis McDonough's expertise and counsel on national security issues," Obama said in a statement announcing the promotion, which had been expected. "He possesses a remarkable intellect, irrepressible work ethic, and a sense of collegiality that has earned him the respect of his colleagues."

A Hill veteran who worked for then-Sen. Tom Daschle (D-SD) and then-Rep. Lee Hamilton (D-Ind.), McDonough rises into the post vacated by Thomas E. Donilon, whom Obama named as his national security adviser earlier this month. Donilon replaced James L. Jones, the retired Marine general, who often felt out of place atop a national security team staffed by officials such as McDonough who have worked for Obama far longer and know him much better than he did.

In his own statement, Donilon said, "Under the leadership of General Jones, Denis has been an essential member of our national security team, leading our staff and tackling the full range of tough national security challenges that we have faced."

"I could not ask for a better colleague, and I look forward to continuing to work with Denis and our talented and hard-working National Security Staff as we carry forward our effort to advance a safer, stronger, and more prosperous America," Donilon said in the statement.

By Scott Wilson  | October 22, 2010; 11:26 AM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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Comments

HOW MUCH WORSE CAN IT GET BEFORE 2012?

Posted by: gone2dabeachgmailcom | October 22, 2010 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Here's something funny about McDonough. It's from a NY Times profile about him just after the election two years ago:

ON AFGHANISTAN:

“What Barack has said is that we can begin withdrawing our troops immediately, and he believes that we can do it at pace of about one to two combat brigades per month. And at that pace, we could get the remaining troops out in about 16 months. This is not an ironclad absolute commitment that at the end of 16 months all of our troops will be out. But he does believe that is the kind of pace that we can do responsibly and safely.” (Interview with NPR, June 2008.)"

Also this from the author of the piece:

"Carries as baggage: A lack of executive branch experience, which could make it difficult to navigate Washington’s high stakes world of foreign policy and national security."


APPARENTLY NOT!

Posted by: 54465446 | October 22, 2010 7:25 PM | Report abuse

jamesmsalt wrote:

"We need better diplomacy, international cooperation and rule of law - not just the military - to overcome our future security threats."

... and which of those areas does he have any recognized expertise in?

According to his several online bios he has a masters in Foreign Policy and worked as a Senate aide. In other words, no experience whatsoever, except being someone powerful's helper.

God save us all.

Posted by: 54465446 | October 22, 2010 7:13 PM | Report abuse

HOW MUCH WORSE CAN IT GET BEFORE 2012?

Posted by: gone2dabeachgmailcom | October 22, 2010 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Denis is an excellent choice for this position. There is not another member of the Obama team who is as conscientious as he is. The most important contribution he can make is to remind our leaders that there are more than just military solutions to our national security needs. We need better diplomacy, international cooperation and rule of law - not just the military - to overcome our future security threats.

Posted by: jamesmsalt | October 22, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Today, the President named Denis McDonough as asst. National Security Advisor replacing Thomas Donilon who was elevated to the top National Security Advisor post after James Jones left.

So the President's top two security advisors now have absolutely no background whatsoever in the military, law enforcement, prosecution, the intelligence business, or even crisis management.

If this trend continues, the next thing you know Hillary Clinton will be made Secretary of State!

Posted by: 54465446 | October 22, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Nice, effeminate refugee from Namby-PambyLand to manage the surrender of the U.S. to the rest of the world. Good choice, Obama!

Posted by: JamesChristian | October 22, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Nice, effeminate refugee from Namby-PambyLand to manage the surrender of the U.S. to the rest of the world. Good choice, Obama!

Posted by: JamesChristian | October 22, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse


How about someone with actual national security experience for these critical posts?

Posted by: nuke41 | October 22, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

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