Atlantic Council Chairman Named National Security Advisor

Retired Marine Corps General Brings Decades of Experience

Washington, D.C. – Atlantic Council Chairman General James L. Jones has accepted President-elect Barack Obama’s offer to serve as his National Security Advisor.  Jones, respected on both sides of the aisle, brings more than forty years of military and diplomatic experience to the post.

Obama also sought Jones’ counsel before visiting Afghanistan in July.  Earlier this year, Jones presented to Congress the findings of the Atlantic Council’s report “Saving Afghanistan: An Appeal and Plan for Urgent Action,” stating, “Make no mistake, the international community is not winning in Afghanistan.”  The report and Jones’ straightforward briefing helped bring about changes to the government’s Afghanistan policy.  In September 2007, he advised Congress about the readiness of Iraqi security forces, and since November 2007, he has acted as Special Envoy for Middle East Security under Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.  Jones was Senior Military Assistant to Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen from 1997 to 1999 as well.

In June 2007, Jones was elected Chairman of the Atlantic Council.  He quickly put his stamp on the think tank, a Washington institution since 1961, with the creation of the Strategic Advisors Group, which has already established itself as a respected voice and influential presence on defense issues in the U.S. and Europe.  A decorated combat veteran, Jones retired from the armed forces in February 2007 after serving as Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) from 2003 to 2006 and as Commandant of the Marine Corps from 1999 to 2003.

Brent Scowcroft, National Security Advisor to Presidents Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush and himself a former Chairman of the Atlantic Council, hailed Obama’s decision, saying, “General Jones’ knowledge of the Middle East will critically inform a renewed push for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process under Obama’s administration.”  Atlantic Council President and CEO Frederick Kempe added, “Jones’s experience as SACEUR and his understanding of the European security apparatus will be of great value as Obama strives to strengthen transatlantic relations.”

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