The New Republic compiled a list of thirty people that fill most influence Barack Obama's first term.
General David Petraeus
Not mention is the next Sec. of Defense. The short list is current Sec. of Defense Robert Gates, Richard Danzig, John Hamre, Jack Reed and Chuck Hagel. Danzig publicly endorsed Gates for the job. Reports are that Obama won't initiate defense budget cuts in the first 18 months.
"Obama has apparently agreed with his defense [advisers] that he will not cut the DoD budget within his first 18 months in office," Morgan Stanley defense analysts wrote in a post-election report.
U.S. forces will not be out of Iraq by 2010. Obama plans on putting more troops into Afghanistan. That leaves little room for budget cuts.
Gates or Hagel would fulfill Obama's promise of appoint Republicans to cabinet positions. Reports are Joe Biden and Sec. of State candidate Bill Richardson are friends of Hagel. Hagel is a foreign policy realist. His bashing of Sarah Palin's (lack of) foreign policy experience endeared him to the campaign. Hagel said he would have considered being Obama's running mate. The question is can Hagel manage the Defense Department beaurocacy?
John Hamre is the the Chairman of Center for Strategic & International Studies. The bipartisan military and foreign policy think tank was created during the cold war. Hamre served as Deputy Secretary of Defense during the Clinton administration. He is currently serving on the Defense Policy Board Advisory Committee.
Hamre is a Sam Nunn prodigy. He served under Nunn during the Gulf War vote. He is fiscally conservative with defense dollars. Nunn served on the CSIS Board of Trustees.
Hamre is a Clintonite and has foreign policy views that could mesh well with Obama's. Hamre's anti-Vietnam war past could place doubt in his ability to serve as Defense Secretary.
Jack Reed is a former Army Ranger and West Point graduate. Reed is a member of the Committee on Armed Services. Reed is the safest pick on Obama's short list.
I would go with Reed as Sec of State and Richard Danzig as Deputy Secretary of Defense. Don't be surprised if Obama picks Hagel.