Who might serve in Obama's second term?
November 7th, 2012
10:24 AM ET

Who might serve in Obama's second term?

Now that President Obama has won a second term, this is what CNN's national security team is hearing through the grape vine on what the President's national security team might look like, though don't expect many changes, just a couple of big ones.

There is only one vacancy on his national security team that we are certain of. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has made clear she wants to return to private life and does not intend to serve in a second Obama term. Secretary Panetta has been less vocal about what his future holds, but at 74, and after decades of service to multiple administrations, he could decide that he wants to return to his home in California early in a second term. Of course, there are always the rumors of CIA Director David Petraeus's interest in the presidency at Princeton University should it open up.

With the Obama win on Tuesday, here is a list of officials seen as likely candidates for his second term national security team should a vacancy occur:


Michèle Flournoy
Flournoy had been the highest ranking woman at the Pentagon and was considered an early contender to succeed Defense Secretary Robert Gates last year. As the No. 3 official from 2009 to 2012, she advised Gates and his successor, Leon Panetta, in the formulation of national security and defense policy and had oversight of military plans and operations. With a strong background in defense academia and defense policy analysis, she co-founded the Center for a New American Security, a defense-oriented think tank, and was also senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies as well as a professor at the National Defense University. Flournoy would be the first woman named to the top job, and would bring a sharp and critical mind to the position with the ability to see the small and big picture of how the military should operate post-Iraq and Afghanistan. Flournoy was an adviser on the most recent Obama campaign.

Ashton Carter
Carter is currently the Pentagon's No. 2 official as chief deputy to Secretary Leon Panetta. Prior to this, he headed weapons procurement as under secretary for acquisition, technology and logistics from April 2009 to October 2011. In that role, Carter was most noted for accelerating the urgent need for vehicles that protected troops from roadside bombs in Iraq. Carter is considered a top defense-oriented academic mind with stints at Harvard’s Kennedy school and as co-director of the Preventive Defense Project. In the Clinton administration, he was an assistant secretary at the Pentagon for international security policy. Some liken his leadership thinking to William Cohen, one of President Bill Clinton's defense secretaries who focused on internal operations rather than global perspectives. With upcoming budget cuts and shifting focus away from the last two wars, Obama will need somebody to guide that change in Pentagon thinking.


Filed under: 2012 Election • Security Brief
2 U.S. sailors indicted on charges of raping Japanese woman on Okinawa
Civic groups in Tokyo protest the alleged rape of a Japanese woman by two U.S. servicemen on October 20.
November 7th, 2012
02:53 AM ET

2 U.S. sailors indicted on charges of raping Japanese woman on Okinawa

By Junko Ogura

Japanese prosecutors have indicted two American sailors on charges that they raped a Japanese woman on the island of Okinawa last month, a case that has deepened tensions between local residents and the U.S. military.

The arrest of the two suspects prompted outraged reactions from Japanese officials and resulted in the imposition of a curfew by the U.S. military on its troops in Japan.

The two suspects, both from a base in Fort Worth, Texas, were indicted by Naha District Court on Tuesday afternoon, according to a statement from the public affairs office of the U.S. Commander, Naval Forces Japan.

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Filed under: Japan • Military • Navy