Madam SECDEF?

Flournoy.jpgSenator Clinton isn't the only female in the hunt for a major cabinet position in the Obama administration. Word on the street is that Michelle Flournoy is under strong consideration for the Secretary of Defense post.Ms. Flournoy, a graduate of Harvard and Oxford, made her bones as a DoD worker bee with the Clinton Administration. She went on to teach at the National Defense University and -in 2007- co-founded the respected Center for New American Security. She's also one of the two principal defense brains assigned to President-elect Obama's transition team.Flournoy knows her business, has a strong background in both asymmetrical and traditional state threats, and seems to believe in a moderate approach to any withdrawal of American troops from Iraq. She's experienced, qualified, and her centrist positions on defense issues would (seemingly) make her a safe choice to head up the DoD.Unfortunately, Ms. Flournoy's reasoned approach to Iraq -withdrawal that takes into consideration the efficacy of the Iraqi government and logistical realities- could lock horns with Obama's ideological "withdraw now, regardless" plan.Any drawdown that falls short of Obama's campaign promise of expedited removal of US troops from theater risks upsetting the easily perturbed, zealous faction of the Democratic base. That makes Ms. Flournoy almost as politically risky as continuing the tenure of current SECDEF, Robert Gates.--John Noonan

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