November 13th, 2008
04:50 PM ET
10 years ago

Pentagon readying 'to-do' list for Obama administration

Barack Obama meets with U.S. Army personnel in Basra, Iraq, on July 21.

Barack Obama meets with U.S. Army personnel in Basra, Iraq, on July 21.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Defense Department will give president-elect Barack Obama's transition team a list of "key decision" that the new administration will face during the first three months of its administration, a Pentagon spokesman said.

The list of issues will be "non-prescriptive," in that it will not be pressing a policy per se, but will simply lay out decisions the new team is going to need to deal with in the first 90 days, according to Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman.

The Pentagon has not spelled out what is on the list, but some elements such as upcoming NATO meetings and preparing a new defense budget to submit to Congress are long-expected items, according to department officials.

In addition, Sec. Gates had surveyed Pentagon staff to see who would be willing to stay on past inaugration day. A high percentage of current employees have said they are willing, Whitman said, although he would not say how many that would be.

On Wednesday, the president-elect's office announced that former Deputy Secretary of Defense John White and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Michele Flournoy will lead Obama's Department of Defense transition team. Flournoy is currently president of the Center for a New American Security policy group and White teaches at Harvard's Kennedy School.

The agency review team will be doing a "top to bottom" review, according to Obama spokesman Nick Shapiro. The team will be in place at the Pentagon by the end of the week in an effort to get "information needed to make strategic policy, budgetary, and personnel decisions prior to the inaugration," the Obama transition office explained in a statement announcing the review teams.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Pentagon
soundoff (74 Responses)
  1. Catholic-mom-4-OBAMA

    You BETCHA he has a lot of work to do!


    November 13, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  2. Larry

    I'll bet a lot of Americans are going to be very sorry they voted the way they did in the near future–No matter if you hate or love Bush ,he has protected you and your family perfectly the last seven years.You probably don't appreciate it now,but you will,when there's another terrorist attack here at home.

    Obama's bringing the troops and war home

    November 13, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  3. Sue

    Add to that: prosecution of Bush administration for high crimes and treason, would you?

    November 13, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  4. Kathy

    The Pentegon is wasting it's time. He has ALL the answers and most likely won't listen to anyone. God Bless America.

    November 13, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  5. Peter (CA)


    Using your logic, we should be cursing Bush also since he was in charge when 9/11 happened. Remember, it had been 8 years since the first World Trade Center bombing. These things do not happen daily here because we have an intelligence community doing their job. When they get lazy or when there is a President not willing to read a briefing titled "bin Laden determined to attack within the United States", then bad things happen.

    Obama will keep the pressure on to keep the intelligence community strong for us. Don't worry about the war coming here, they just want us out of their holy land. The sooner we let the Iraqis defend themselves, the sooner we can work on defending ourselves more efficiently.

    November 13, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  6. ObamaVoter

    Yeahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!! President Obama!!!!!!

    November 13, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  7. G.R.I.T. - Girl Raised in the South

    Larry says that Bush has protected Americans and their families from attack. Okay, September 11, 2001 was AFTER Bush was elected. No protection there. How does anyone know if we've been protected or if the terrorists haven't come up with any new, inventive ideas for attack? It may just be happenstance that we haven't been attacked, not because Bush is some great protector. Plus, the airlines, airport security, the British government, these people have actually done something to catch or prevent terrorist attacks. Not Bush.

    November 13, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  8. Chela

    Larry – Bush has kept us "perfectly safe" for the last seven years? Are you nuts? All the war dead and wounded; an economy in shatters? And international community who's so ticked off by the current Administration they have no incentive to shoulder the burdens of the "war on terror"? Iraq and Afghanistan as the perfect recruiting tools for extremists around the world? Osama bin Laden still at large?

    Pull your head out – Bush, Cheney, Rove, et al have terribly hurt our country. Thank goodness enough Americans are smart and voted the Republicans OUT OF OFFICE!

    November 13, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  9. Lakergirl

    Kathy- He does? Says That's the first I've heard!

    November 13, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  10. Cynthia - Arkansas

    God give him strength and wisdom. The whole world is looking for someone to fix this huge mess the Republican Party has left. Don't just blame Bush. He had a majority of Republicans in the Senate and the House up until 2 years ago. Since then, they have fought against everything that the Democrats have tried to do. The Republicans are already trying to blame this mess on Obama. How stupid do they think people are? They won't even wait until he's in office before they start attacking him. It's really sick and sad.

    November 13, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  11. Jonathan M in a Red State

    Wow Chrys, you have absolutely no world view at all do you? People don't value life or money in Iran like we do. An oil embargo or war will ease thier resolve. They KNOW, not think, they will go to Heaven should they fight for Islam. Their soldiers do not fear death. And money is inherently rejected by Islamic teachings. What makes you think they would overthrow thier religion (not government b/c it's a Theocracy) for simple things such as that?

    November 13, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  12. Former Repub Old White Female

    I have a husband overseas in the active duty military right now, Camp Bucca to be exact. I can tell you that when these troops were watching CNN in the chow hall, there was a HUGE collective sigh or relief when CNN declared Obama the winner. GWB ran the military down to a fraction of what it once was. I remember my husband grumbling about how Clinton treated the Army, now he looks back on the Clinton years, when my husband was in Bosnia, with fond memories. Afghanistan was a war that we were justified, and when my husband went there he went proudly, and ready to do his job. Now his second time in Iraq, he just left this summer, ready to do his job, proud of his skills, proud of his fellow soldiers, but frustrated, worn out, and reluctant to go back to a place we should have never been in to begin with. Soldiers overseas were happy when Obama won, he has video of the chow hall erupting in cheers as CNN announced the winner. I love reading people like Larry who comment about how great Bush is at keeping us safe, yet most of these people have no idea what these soldiers and their families are going through.

    November 13, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  13. Viet Vet

    To Kathy,
    I have no doubt that President Obama will surround himself with the best & the brightest- -he won't just STAY THE COURSE!

    To Larry,
    BUSH is a Terrorist! Pull your head out a look around? How's YOUR JOB? HOW'S YOUR MORTGAGE? 401K? Anyone you know in Iraq?Anyone you know affected (still) by Katrina. Bush the decider and Commander in Chief, YES SIR! He sure protected us Ameicans.
    If the above is Fine by you, it sure isn't to a LOT of others.

    November 13, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  14. Willy Brown

    Obama is going to gut the military you just wait and see. Back to the days of Carter & Clinton.

    November 13, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  15. Benz

    I am so happy that Obama has this opportunity to show what steel he is made of. Exactly what Biden was talking about.
    A lot of people will leave to regreat what they said about this guy and taste what the intellectuals like Gates, Opera, Powell, Rev. Gramm etc saw in him.

    November 13, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  16. Timothy

    I wonder if ignorance is a just excuse. Maybe stupidity is better suited. How safe are we if we can't afford bullets, even if the label says "Made in China". truly so, timothy

    November 13, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  17. KLEE

    President Obama – you have a big job to do – get the right people in place and go with your instincts. Thank you for all the work you and your team have done to get you to this point. I, for one, am very proud of this country right now and hopeful that some real changes will come not only to our country but to the world – hopefully change is contaigious!

    November 13, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  18. Larry

    Peter (ca),

    I sure hope you're right,however, I think you are very idealistic in your thinking that terrorist are going to just stop being terrorist because we have a new president that you really like.As far as blaming Bush for not being able to see into the future and know,who,when,and how is a little far fetched( maybe something you think Obama will be able to do),BUT no one else,including Clinton,can or ever will be able to do.Many may die with Obama's and your thinking.

    Freedom is not FREE

    November 13, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  19. Obamalady

    A day before the election Biden said " Tomorrow all those who called Obama all names will call him Mr. President", Joe was right.
    Obama/Biden the Face of America.

    Republicans will continue to loose unless they recognise the diversity in the Great USA. The difference was seen in the conventions.
    Republicans are behind time.
    America of yesterday is not the America today, and we are not going back.

    November 13, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  20. usualone

    Wow, sometimes I'm impressed with the the person who said that 911 happened during the Bush watch. No one should blame any President if this should happen again. History shows these terrorists have lots of patience. So all we can do is be prepared and not be surprised whenever or wherever they may attack us. Remember the Boy Scout motto - "Be prepared."

    November 13, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  21. DAWN

    Poor Larry, you are proud Bush "protected us" and you have the nerve to say we will be sorry in a Obama administration. If Bush was such a great proetector then why did he not prevent 9/11? please explain WHY we had the 9/11 commissions and Condelezza Rice admmited to recieving intelligence from the CIA that Bin Laden was determined to attack the U.S.A. Bush was a dummy who ignored the intelligence because he thought it would give him the right to invade Iraq, so he can finish he daddys unfinished business with Sadam and get oil. and the easy way to do it was to let us get attacked and lie and say al queda and sadam where involved. Because of his weak intelligence we know have dung ourselves a deeper hole thanks to Bush. Why, we cant afford two wars and we are creating more enemies in the middle east than allies. I will feel a hell of alot safer with Obama as my president, for he will build our relationship around the world that bush destroyed with his arrogence. If Obama has to worry about terrorists, its his fellow racists Americans who can come to the grips of a black man as President.

    November 13, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  22. John Q. Cynic

    I'm not certain that the Pentagon works for the President......who knew.

    November 13, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  23. a brighter day

    the republicians have left our new president with a big mess, but i have confidence in president obama and vice president joe biden.

    November 13, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  24. Mike Seebeck

    Is the KC-45 on that list?

    November 13, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  25. Gerry

    Obama's to do list should be to learn something about the military.

    November 13, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
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