Susan Rice's Tough New Job As National Security Advisor

Susan RiceFormer United Nations ambassador, Susan Rice has started in her new job as national-security advisor, and she is a testimony of African Americans having the most powerful positions in the world. As the national-security advisor everyday she is talking to the national security apparatus, which includes the FBI, CIA, State, Defense, and any other agencies that have a stake in a particular problem or crisis.


Ms. Rice’s position is powerful, because everyone must bring their argument to her first, and she decides the priority of the problem. Once everyone has presented their position, they then vote, and figure out the implications of their decisions. The president gets a number of decisions every day that are unanimous, and others that are divided. It is obvious that she has strong opinions, and the president listens to her advice.

She has been in her new job for six weeks, and there has been a myriad of global crisis and controversies surrounding the United States. Egypt’s military has overthrown Egypt’s democratic government, and the world is waiting for a response from the U.S. Last week the president did decide to cancel joint military exercises, and many experts want the government to stop financial aid.

At this point Ms. Rice has been extremely realistic and pragmatic with her decisions concerning Egypt. She and the president have decided not to destroy a four decade relationship with the government and let the country make the first moves. Here counsel also to the president has been to hold up the delivery of F-16 fighter jets, and signal America’s displeasure with violence and murder in the country.

Ms. Rice has also had to deal with a terrorist scare, and close embassies across the Middle East. It is obvious that she has learnt with her debacle with the consulate in Benghazi to keep the embassies around the world on high alert, and keep the employees safe.

There is also the Edward Snowden’s saga where leaks of highly classified national-security programs have been publicly exposed. Certain media colleagues think it has damaged U.S. diplomatic interest and the standing of President Obama. “I don’t think the diplomatic consequences, at least as they are foreseeable now, are that significant. I think the Snowden thing is obviously something that we will get through, as we’ve gotten through all the issues like this in the past,” says Susan Rice.

Many experts inside and outside of the administration do not agree with Rice’s assessment, and they believe that Snowden’s conduct has disclosed national security information that has Americans scared of their own government. Also many current and former senior Pentagon and intelligence officials, such as Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former CIA directors Michael Hayden and James Woolsey have acknowledged that our defense and national security has been damaged.

Mr. Snowden’s conduct and statements has significantly damaged U.S. diplomatic interests. His leaks of classified information have forced China and Russia to determine that it is in their national interest to not facilitate his extradition. The United States also canceled a meeting with Russia and the two presidents, and the Snowden saga is turning into a big mess.

The jury is still out on Susan Rice and the pressure is mounting. Tommy Vietor who was a White House national security spokesman during Obama’s first term says, “Rice gets into the weeds.” She knows the details. She is tough and smart and will get your attention if you’re slipping,” says Vietor. Rice has one of the most powerful jobs on the planet and now she must execute.