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Subject: From Commandant To National Security Adviser
SCCOMarine    11/28/2008 3:57:31 PM
Former Commandant and NATO Supreme Allied Commander is to become the National Security Adviser for Obama. As Commandant Jones was the brain behind MCMAP, the reinstatement of 2nd Force Recon & ANGLICO, MCSOCOM DET-1, and many other programs. As SAC over at NATO he was responsible for pioneering the NCO leadership programs at NATO.
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SCCOMarine       11/28/2008 3:58:58 PM

'Friendly until friendly doesn't get it done'

Marine general tapped by Obama for security adviser post is regarded as smooth, bipartisan

By ROBERT BURNS and RICHARD LARDNER Associated Press Nov. 27, 2008

WASHINGTON — In late summer 1979 a Marine named James L. Jones arrived on Capitol Hill for a new assignment as advocate for Marine programs in the Senate. His boss was a Navy officer and fellow Vietnam vet who showed Jones the political ropes and became a lifelong friend — John McCain.

Today, Jones, who retired as a four-star general last year after 40 years in the Marines, is on track to begin answering to another new boss: the man who denied McCain his dream of becoming president.

As national security adviser in President-elect Barack Obama's White House, Jones would have a deep well of experience from which to draw as the new commander in chief confronts not just the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan but also the nearly inevitable pop-up threats to U.S. security interests.

Jones, 64, is expected to be announced by Obama next week as part of the president-elect's national security team, along with Robert Gates as secretary of defense and Hillary Rodham Clinton as secretary of state.

Advised Obama, McCain

Obama, with limited foreign policy experience, would benefit from Jones' "natural calm and leadership instincts," says retired Marine Gen. Peter Pace, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff who has known Jones for 38 years.

"He gets to the heart of an issue very quickly and does it in a way that is very inclusive of everybody around him," Pace says.

Jones has impeccable military credentials, an ambassador's polish and an imposing physical presence at 6-foot-4. As a former top commander of NATO and U.S. forces in Europe — his last assignment before retiring from the military in early 2007 — he's a respected figure in many foreign capitals.

He also is seen as bipartisan. When former Republican Sen. William Cohen was defense secretary during President Bill Clinton's second term, Jones was Cohen's senior military assistant. During the presidential campaign, Jones informally advised both Obama and McCain on national security issues.

In the view of those who know Jones well, he would bring to the White House an unusual combination of qualities that make him a respected voice on some of the most complex security issues of his time. Last year, for example, he led a commission that advised Congress on progress in training Iraqi security forces.

"Jim Jones has always been a notch or two above everybody," says Les Palm, a retired two-star Marine general who has known Jones since 1974. "He's a good tactician, obviously, in a fight. But he also has a rare combination of being a strategic thinker and a statesman."

John Hamre, who was the deputy defense secretary when Jones was Cohen's military aide, says Obama chose wisely.

"Jim is a wise and highly experienced intellect," Hamre said. "He will be close — geographically and intellectually — to the president-elect."

The job of national security adviser doesn't require Senate confirmation nor does it come with the muscle of a large federal agency. But the adviser has an office in the West Wing of the White House and briefs the president regularly — often several times a day — on the most pressing military, diplomatic and economic issues. Jones' voice may well be the last Obama hears before making crucial decisions.

Smooth, but 'hard as nails'

Jones will be responsible for ensuring that the Defense, State, and Justice departments, and the CIA, all work together to do what the president wants.

"He's a very smooth, diplomatic guy, but he's hard as nails too," says retired Army Lt. Gen. Jay Garner, who first met Jones in 1991 during a U.S.-led humanitarian relief operation in northern Iraq and Turkey.

"Jones works friendly until friendly doesn't get it done anymore," Garner says. "And then you're dealing with a great big guy you really don't want to be on the opposite side of."

And he's known for a sense of humor. By reputation, Jones is a tough guy with a light touch, less rigid than many who rise to the top in the U.S. military.

A favorite Jones joke is about an Air Force captain who narrowly escaped injury while riding horseback; he was saved when a Marine sergeant shopping at Wal-Mart saw him and quickly unplugged the horse.

"It's OK to have fun in the Marine Corps," he told stern-faced Marines in Germany, just days after he became Marine commandant

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