Obama Gets a New War Team

President Obama’s national-security team, so influential especially in the past few weeks of turmoil, will very soon have many new faces, which could affect his foreign policy significantly. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, considered one of the most powerful voices in Obama’s cabinet, will leave this summer—at a crucial turning point in Obama’s Afghan policy, not to mention Iraq and amid the Arab uprisings. On the heels of Gates’ departure will be Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, also a Bush appointee, and Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg, a crucial policymaker on China, announced last week he too would be leaving. Gates, a Republican, often worked closely with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, leaving many to wonder if Obama will bring in a close new partner for Clinton for a dissenter. The names emerging from the White House seem to go with the former, although there are no clear frontrunners for any of the positions.