Obama moves quickly into transition mode; the power players behind the president-elect; East Asian stockmarkets stumble; Israel sends warning about Iran; and more
Top of the Agenda: Obama's Transition
Barack Obama, the incoming US president, moved quickly following his election to assemble a team of White House advisers. Obama asked Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-IL), a former Clinton administration adviser and former chairman of the influential Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, to serve as his chief of staff. The BBC profiles Emanuel here. Obama also indicated he intends to move quickly to name advisers to senior economic posts, including potentially a treasury secretary, the FT reports.
Obama also named the "transition team" that will work over the next few months to assist with the transfer of power from the current US administration to the new one. The Wall Street Journal profiles the members of this team here.
Meanwhile, Reuters reports Obama will get his first national intelligence briefing today, as he prepares for several looming security challenges. News reports indicate Obama will receive the same briefing as outgoing US President George W. Bush from Director of National Intelligence Michael McConnell. The article says Pakistan, Afghanistan, Russia, and the Guantanamo Bay detention facility could each figure prominently in the briefing. The New York Times looks at international reactions to Barack Obama's election to the US presidency.
- In a new interview, CFR President Richard Haass says financial policy should be Obama's first priority.
- A new CFR.org Backgrounder looks at how presidential transitions have worked in the past, noting experiences when the party in power has changed and when the United States is at war.
- Another Backgrounder profiles the men and women who played a prominent role advising Obama during his campaign, some of whom could now be rewarded with government positions.
- For full coverage of the transition of government, see CFR.org's Transition 2008 website.
Pacific Rim: South Korea-U.S. Ties
The Korea Times speaks to a series of policymakers on what an Obama administration will mean for relations between South Korea and the United States. The analysts express optimism that Obama will take a more dialogue-oriented approach to diplomacy on the Korean peninsula, but also express concerns that he could assume a protectionist trade policy that would hurt Korean businesses.
MARKETS: Stock markets declined in East Asia this morning, leading European markets to open down as well. Bloomberg reports investors see deepening concerns that profit losses at major firms could accelerate.
CHINA-TAIWAN: Beijing urged Obama (BBC) not to support Taiwanese aspirations for independence.