General Jones, Obama's National Security Adviser, is making an effort to assert sweeping authority over the national security decisionmaing process. In an interview with the Washington Post, "Jones, a retired Marine general, made it clear that he will run the
process and be the primary conduit of national security advice to Obama, eliminating the 'back channels' that at times in the Bush administration allowed Cabinet secretaries and the vice president's office to unilaterally influence and make policy out of view of the others....Directorates inside Jones's NSC staff [such as the Near East section headed by Dan Shapiro] will oversee implementation of decisions. 'It doesn't mean that we micromanage or supervise,' he said. 'But you have to make sure, . . . particularly if it's a presidential decision, that the president is kept abreast of how things are going. That it doesn't just fall off the end of the table and disappear into outer space.' "
It remains to be seen whether Jones will be able to control Secretary of State Clinton and Secretary of Defense Gates if they seek a back channel to the President.