News / USA

Obama Announces New National Security Team

Obama Announces New National Security Teami
X
June 06, 2013 10:41 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has announced a major shakeup in his national security and foreign policy team, selecting U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice as his new national security adviser. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Meredith Buel
U.S. President Barack Obama has announced a major shakeup in his national security and foreign policy team, selecting U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice as his new national security adviser. 

President Obama announced that Susan Rice will move from her current post and replace Tom Donilon as his next national security adviser, one of the most powerful posts in Washington.

Rice has been a controversial figure, but Obama said she understands there is no substitute for American leadership.

“So Susan is the consummate public servant, a patriot who puts her country first, she is fearless, she is tough," said Obama. "She has a great tennis game and a pretty good basketball game.”

Rice has been a key adviser to Obama and became his U.N. ambassador in 2009.

She served on the National Security Council as a staff member for Africa when then-President Bill Clinton decided not to intervene in the 1994 Rwandan genocide.   Clinton later apologized for the inaction.

That experience is said to have influenced Rice on decisions about future military interventions.   

Rice was one of the chief advocates for creating a no-fly zone over Libya, an intervention that eventually helped overthrow Moammar Gadhafi.

Rice came under severe criticism from Republicans in Congress for televised remarks following the deadly attacks on a U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya.
The uproar caused her to withdraw as a potential candidate for secretary of state.  

Her appointment as national security adviser does not require Senate confirmation and she looked ahead during her remarks.

"As you have outlined, we have vital opportunities to seize, and ongoing challenges to confront," Rice said. "We have much still to accomplish on behalf of the American people.”

Watch related video by VOA's Margaret Besheer

Susan Rice, Trusted Adviser but Controversial Figurei
X
June 06, 2013 6:44 PM
The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, will become the president's national security adviser. She will have the ear of the president despite the fact that opposition in Congress earlier this year derailed her chance to become secretary of state. She was caught in the battle between the White House and Capitol Hill Republicans over the September attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. VOA United Nations correspondent Margaret Besheer has more on this controversial figure.

To replace Rice at the U.N., President Obama nominated Samantha Power, who has held key government positions dealing with democracy and human rights.  He urged quick Senate confirmation.

“She knows the U.N.’s strengths, she knows its weaknesses, she knows that America’s interests are advanced when we can rally the world to our side, and she knows that we have to stand up for the things we believe in,” Obama stated.

It is unclear whether the changes signal a significant shift in Obama’s foreign policy, particularly in Syria.

Lawrence Korb, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, said the new team is more likely to favor arming the rebels. “I think it does increase the chances of us crossing the threshold to get to more lethal or lethal aid, we don’t give any lethal aid right now,” he said.

Rice is not expected to fully take over her new job until after President Obama’s upcoming trips to Europe and Africa.

You May Like

Westgate Mall Attack Survivors Confront Painful Memories

On anniversary of terror attack, survivors discuss how they have coped with trauma they experienced that day More

Iraqi Kurd President Urges World Community to Protect Syrian City

Islamic State fighters are besieging Kobani, also known as Ayn al-Arab, after seizing at least 21 surrounding villages in a major assault against city on Syria's northern border with Turkey More

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

Conservationists hail ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015 More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Manzo from: Abuja, Nigeria
June 05, 2013 1:17 PM
Congrats Ms Rice. From one powerful Rice to another at the White House. Best Regards.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctionsi
X
September 18, 2014 2:28 AM
A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid