Tom Donilon, a Manager of Overseas Crises – NYTimes.com

How to become the advisor on foreign affairs to the President of the United States?  In the case of Tom Donilon, a path from politics to policy:

A longtime political operative, Mr. Donilon has methodically reinvented himself as a maestro of international affairs, consolidating control of the national security apparatus in a corner West Wing office stacked with classified briefing books as thick as a fist. He oversaw support for the Libya war that toppled Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi and the operation that killed Osama bin Laden. He made sure surge troops left Afghanistan as scheduled. He is a champion of Mr. Obama’s so-called pivot to Asia.

via Tom Donilon, a Manager of Overseas Crises – NYTimes.com.

Great short bio on someone who in the classic Beltway fashion has a number of friends and just as many enemies–but probably more frenemies.

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3 thoughts on “Tom Donilon, a Manager of Overseas Crises – NYTimes.com

  1. AsaClements says:

    This article highlights a number of things about modern politics that often go overlooked from Obama’s dependence on advisers because the government and the world and It’s problems are too big for just one person, to presidents being more at the mercy of world politics than domestic politics, especially in an election year. This concept was displayed nicely by comments made earlier this year, by Obama to Russian President, Dmitry Medvedev, about “more flexibility” after the election. All in all, this article serves as a reminder that despite our attempts to demonize or proclaim sainthood upon Presidents, the simple truth is they products of their environments and advisers. As always context is more important than given credit for.

  2. “In a sense, he kind of thinks like the president,” Mr. Biden said. “Tom knows where the president wants to go. Tom knows when the president wants to go left, straight, up or down.”

    Although this is a very simple concept, it is important to remember that when we elect a government official, especially a President, we are choosing whoever that person chooses to help him or her. Not only does Tom think like the President, but the President thinks like Tom as well. President Obama doesn’t know enough, nor are there adequate hours in the day for him to learn enough, to keep the United States above water in diplomatic efforts with even one nation. That is why it is so exciting to be learning about diplomacy.

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