[dehai-news] (New York Times) The New Team: Susan Rice


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From: Biniam Tekle (biniamt@dehai.org)
Date: Thu Nov 06 2008 - 15:51:32 EST


November 7, 2008
The New Team
Susan Rice
By CHARLIE SAVAGE

As he prepares to take office, President-elect Barack Obama is relying on a
small team of advisers who will lead his transition operation and help
choose the members of a new Obama administration. Following is part of a
series of profiles of potential members of the administration.

Name: Susan Elizabeth Rice

Being considered for: A top foreign policy post, possibly deputy national
security adviser or ambassador to the United Nations.

Would bring to the job: Eight years at the White House and the State
Department in the Clinton administration and special expertise in the
problems posed by weak and failed states, global poverty and transnational
security threats. She has a reputation for being blunt-spoken, but also for
being a politically connected fast-riser. A protégé of Madeleine K. Albright
when she was secretary of state, Ms. Rice catapulted over more veteran
officials in 1997 to become one of the youngest assistant secretaries of
state ever. She also brings early experience with Al Qaeda; Ms. Rice was the
top diplomat for African issues during the 1998 terrorist bombings of
embassies in Tanzania and Kenya.

Is linked to Mr. Obama by: More than two years as a member of his inner
circle, including as senior foreign policy adviser to the Obama-Biden
campaign. She showed early loyalty to Mr. Obama; despite her ties to the
Clinton administration, she signed on with Mr. Obama at a time when Senator
Hillary Rodham Clinton was presumed to be the frontrunner for the Democratic
nomination.

In her own words: Testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee
on April 11, 2007, in favor of authorizing United States military action
against Sudan if the genocide in Darfur continued: "Some argue that it is
unthinkable in the current context. True, the international climate is less
forgiving than it was in 1999 when we acted in Kosovo. Iraq and torture
scandals have left many abroad doubting our motives and legitimacy. Some
will reject any future U.S. military action, especially against an Islamic
regime, even if purely to halt genocide against Muslim civilians. Sudan has
also threatened that Al Qaeda will attack non-African forces in Darfur — a
possibility since Sudan long hosted bin Laden and his businesses.

"Yet, to allow another state to deter the U.S. by threatening terrorism
would set a terrible precedent. It would also be cowardly and, in the face
of genocide, immoral.

"Others argue the U.S. military cannot take on another mission. Indeed, our
ground forces are stretched thin. But a bombing campaign or a naval blockade
would tax the Air Force and Navy, which have relatively more capacity, and
could utilize the 1,500 U.S. military personnel already in nearby Djibouti.

"Still others insist that, without the consent of the U.N. or a relevant
regional body, we would be breaking international law. But the Security
Council last year codified a new international norm prescribing 'the
responsibility to protect'" It commits U.N. members to decisive action,
including enforcement, when peaceful measures fail to halt genocide or
crimes against humanity."

Used to work as: A member of the National Security Council staff under
President Clinton, first as director for international organizations and
peacekeeping, and then as a special assistant to the president and senior
director for African affairs. From 1997 to 2001, she was assistant secretary
of state for African affairs.

Carries as baggage: The potential for tough questioning over her role in
American policy toward Rwanda during the 1994 genocide when she was a member
of a Clinton administration team that kept the United States on the
sidelines, and how that experience has affected her thinking. She told The
Atlantic Monthly in 2001 that she had learned a lesson: "I swore to myself
that if I ever faced such a crisis again, I would come down on the side of
dramatic action, going down in flames if that was required."

Is otherwise known for: How much she has in common with Condoleezza Rice,
the current secretary of state. They are both female African-American
foreign policy experts who have ties to Stanford University, but they are
not related.

Biography includes: Born Nov. 17, 1964, Ms. Rice is the daughter of a former
governor on the Federal Reserve Board ... grew up in Washington, where she
was a star basketball player and valedictorian at the National Cathedral
School, the elite private high school ... earned an undergraduate degree
from Stanford and both a master's degree and a doctorate in international
relations from New College at Oxford University, where she was a Rhodes
Scholar ... worked as a management consultant for McKinsey & Associates
before joining the Clinton administration, and later became a senior fellow
at the Brookings Institution ... was also a foreign policy adviser to John
Kerry's presidential campaign in 2004 ... married to Ian Cameron, the
Canadian-born executive producer of ABC News's "This Week with George
Stephanopoulos," with two children.

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