Obama looking at retired four-stars for key posts

Retired Marine Corps Gen. James L. Jones and Navy Adm. Dennis C. Blair are rumored to be Obama's top choices for top national security positions.

Published November 21, 2008 4:40PM (EST)

President-elect Barack Obama appears close to selecting James L. Jones, a retired four-star Marine Corps general, to be his national security advisor. Jones is the former Supreme Allied Commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Europe. Politico reports that Jim Steinberg, who served as Bill Clinton's deputy national security advisor, and Marine Gen. Anthony Zinni are also under consideration for the role.

Additionally, according to ABC News' Jake Tapper and Martha Raddatz, Democratic sources have said that retired four-star Navy Adm. Dennis C. Blair, the former commander in chief of U.S. Pacific Command, seems to be Obama's top choice for director of national intelligence.

Obama has not officially offered the jobs to either of the front-runners.

Tapper and Raddatz also report that many of Obama's advisors want Steinberg to become the national security advisor, while Obama is adamantly in favor of Jones. Jones was an outspoken critic of the Bush administration's policies in the Iraq war.

By Vincent Rossmeier

Vincent Rossmeier is an editorial assistant at Salon.

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