President-elect Obama made his first significant appointments of officials who will focus on national security issues.
Confirming many stories, New York Senator Hillary Clinton will become Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates will remain as Secretary of Defense.
In addition, General James Jones, USMC (Ret) wiill become National Security Adviser and Susan Rise was name U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.
Two more appointments related to national security: Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security: Governor Janet Napolitano and Attorney General: Eric Holder.
While there has been considerable buzz about whether the appointees represent the change promised by the President-elect, there is likely to be agreement on an early agenda for the team:
Begin the withdrawal of combat troops from Iraq;
An exploration of negotiations with Iran;
Improved relations with Russia;
Continuation of the Bush Administration’s efforts to persuade North Korea to eliminate its nuclear weapons;
Resurrection of serious talks to solve the Middle East morass;
Extension of the START I nuclear arms treaty and deep cuts in nuclear weapons;
Expansion of nuclear non-proliferation programs.