Last month, Foreign Policy invited me and nine others to propose our “Dream Team” cabinet for the incoming administration. With the historic election of Barack Obama, we have a remarkable opportunity to transform this country.
In addition to the many great challenges at home, our new president must understand the limits of American power, extricate the United States from Iraq and Afghanistan, repair damaged alliances and refocus our energy on rebuilding American society and making the global economy work better for working men and women.
That’s no short order, but here are my thoughts on a team that could help him do it:
Secretary of State
The former New Jersey senator and Knicks star is a slam dunk: he opposes NATO expansion and has a keen understanding of the importance of statecraft, multilateral diplomacy and international economics.
Secretary of Defense
An assistant defense secretary under Ronald Reagan and now at the Center for American Progress, Korb has done groundbreaking strategic thinking on issues including a speedy and orderly exit from Iraq, support for troops and veterans and cutting billions in wasteful Pentagon spending.
James K. Galbraith
Secretary of the Treasury
Like his father, Galbraith understands that finance must serve the real economy. He recognizes the ruinous economic effects of our hypermilitarized foreign policy, thinks that world prosperity depends upon rising wages and public investment and has the wisdom to guide us through the remaking of our global financial architecture.
Director of National Intelligence
An investigative journalist whose 1982 book about the NSA, The Puzzle Palace, has been used as a textbook at the National Defense Intelligence College, Bamford values wisdom and history above intelligence factoids. He will challenge convention and abuses and draw the line on covert action. A man of integrity, he’ll always refuse to bend intelligence for political purposes.
National Security Advisor
An Army officer for more than twenty years, Bacevich was considered one of the US military’s leading intellectuals. He is also a transpartisan truth-teller who understands the limits of US military and economic power.
Al Gore and Van Jones *BONUS PICK
Energy Security Council Co-Chairs
Because global warming is going to be catastrophic, we need to end our dependence on fossil fuels while simultaneously creating well-paid, green-collar jobs. No other nation has the power to get others to the table, and nobody can do it better than the former vice president and Jones, the founder of the advocacy group Green for All.