Sen. Carper Comments on National Security Team Nomiations

Will Work With New Team as Member of Senate Homeland Security Committee

WASHINGTON – Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) issued the following statement in response to President-elect Barack Obama’s announcement today of his national security team, many of whom Sen. Carper has and will continue to work with as chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, Government Information, Federal Services and International Security.

Sen. Carper offered comment on the selections of fellow Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton as secretary of state, Robert Gates remaining as secretary of defense, Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano as homeland security secretary, and retired Marine Gen. James L. Jones as national security adviser:

“President-elect Obama has assembled an extraordinary national security team. To a person, they are seasoned, they are smart, and they bring invaluable judgment and expertise to their jobs.

“I have known and admired Hillary Clinton as Arkansas’ and the nation’s first lady, and during the past eight years as a United States senator. Hillary Clinton was brilliant choice as secretary of state. She brings decades of national and international leadership, and she is respected throughout the world. Hillary Clinton will be missed here in the United States Senate, but along with President-elect Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden she will  advance our standing in the world again.

“President-elect Obama has also made an excellent choice for Secretary of Homeland Security. Gov. Janet Napolitano’s background in law enforcement and as governor of a border state should help the department deal more effectively with two of its toughest issues – immigration and border security. I know Gov. Napolitano’s experience running a large state government gives her important skills to deal with the myriad management problems facing the department. I am very familiar with the governor’s record, and look forward to sitting down with her soon to discuss the future of the Department of Homeland Security.

“I urged Vice President-elect Biden to retain Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.  Sec. Gates will provide valuable continuity during a time of two wars. Sec. Gates is a problem-solver, a pragmatist who has demonstrated consistent, strong and mature leadership.

“General Jim Jones is a foreign policy moderate and is highly respected by both sides of the aisle. As a decorated combat veteran in Vietnam, a former Marine Commandant and former Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, he brings a deep understanding of military operations and national security. It’s hard to imagine someone better prepared.  In addition to his military discipline, he is also a top-notch diplomat. Most recently, he served as a Bush Administration’s envoy to set up an Israeli-Palestinian security model in the West Bank, and has extensively traveled to Afghanistan and Iraq on missions for the Department of Defense.