Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09), Chairman of the House Armed Services Terrorism Subcommittee and Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, released the following statement on President-elect Barack Obama’s choices for his administration’s national security team:

“President-elect Obama has demonstrated, once again, that he will be a pragmatic, thoughtful leader detached from partisan politics and grounded in his commitment to restoring America’s standing in the world and safeguarding our security here at home.

“Retaining Secretary Gates is an excellent decision. Over the last two years, he has restored accountability to the Department of Defense and done a tremendous job managing extremely difficult situations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Gates is a highly competent leader who commands respect and can help President-Elect Obama shift gears in Iraq responsibly and place greater emphasis on Afghanistan.

“Senator Hillary Clinton is a very good choice for Secretary of State. She is respected around the world and has an understanding of the international system and how the United States can lead more effectively within it. Her appointment will be well received around the globe and her service will help to restore our standing in the world.

“I am pleased with all of President-elect Obama’s appointments to his national security team.  In particular, Gen. James Jones and Dr. Susan Rice, both of whom I have worked with and come to respect immensely over the years, will make an excellent National Security Adviser and Ambassador to the United Nations, respectively.  As demonstrated by the recent attacks in Mumbai and the attacks in Iraq today, difficult global challenges will continue to confront the next administration and it’s imperative that President Obama be surrounded by dedicated professionals who share his vision and compliment his sound judgment. With the appointments today, President-elect Obama has ensured this.”