Trump clearly prefers diplomacy over wars. A top hostage negotiator may be exactly the kind of security advisor he needs

By Daniel R. DePetris

The wait is over: Robert O'Brien, the Trump administration's hostage negotiator, will be President Donald Trump's new national security advisor. The former George W. Bush administration official will enter his first week on the job with a full plate of foreign policy issues on Washington's radar.

The position of national security advisor is one of the most sought-after in the federal government. It's also one of the most difficult; the individual holding the job needs to be a good manager, a protector of the president's foreign policy agenda, and an enforcer when the policy is not working as it should. O'Brien will need to do all of this and more at a time when the United States is at risk of being dragged into another dangerous and unnecessary dispute between regional powers in the Middle East.

But perhaps the most important task for O'Brien is doing what his predecessor, John Bolton, did not do—allow officials with less interventionist impulses into the policy making process; provide a wide array of policy options to the president; and above all balance the counsel Trump receives from the establishment with more common sense and restraint.

This piece was originally published by Newsweek on September 19, 2019. Read more HERE.

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