President Barack Obama is set to appoint Susan Rice as the national security adviser. She will be replacing Tom Donilon, who is widely known to be this administration’s Asia pivot.
Rice, who is currently the US permanent representative to the UN, is very close to Obama, who had wanted her to succeed Hillary Clinton as the secretary of state.
But a storm over her comments on the September 11, 2012 attack on US facility in Benghazi, Libya, forced her to withdraw her name from contention.
Though India worked well with Donilon, New Delhi now expects to build on a close relationship with her based on cooperation between India’s and US’s permanent missions to the UN.
The two teams worked closely on many issues -- especially Africa -- during India’s two-year term as a temporary member of the UN Security Council from 2010 to 2012.
There were differences, as on Libya, but they were far outstripped by areas of convergence such as Somalia, Sudan, Mali and even on West Asia.
Rice visited India in August 2012, and after the usual official meetings, she went to the Ranthambore wildlife sanctuary in Rajasthan with her children.
An announcement is expected later on Wednesday, wrapping up Obama’s national security team rejig —Chuck Hagel at Pentagon, John Kerry at state and John Brennan at the CIA.
Donilon will leave next month, after nearly four years in Obama’s national security team. He started there as principal national security adviser in 2010. Among his last assignments will be the much- anticipated “shirt-sleeve” meeting of Obama and Chinese president Xi Jinping in California later this week.
Former national security council spokesman Tommy Vietor tweeted his about his one-time boss: “If you write about Donilon’s tenure keep in mind refocus on Asia, ending Iraq war, leak-free UBL (Osama bin Laden’s killing) op, and no public cabinet fights like Bush.”
Over to Rice now.