Who is Robert O’Brien, Trump’s countrywide security adviser decide on? – Aljazeera.com

Washington, DC – Inside a working day of saying his shortlist of 5 candidates for the White House’s prime security occupation, US President Donald Trump tweeted that he picked Robert O’Brien as John Bolton’s alternative as countrywide stability adviser.

“I have worked extensive and really hard with Robert,” Trump tweeted in his announcement of the substitution. “He will do a fantastic career!”

Speaking along with Trump right after the announcement, O’Brien mentioned “we’ve received a range of worries” and it was a privilege to be picked to provide in the situation. 

O’Brien, a hostage negotiator and observed as a Trump loyalist, has extended been existing in the US Republican international coverage arena. He is at the moment the exclusive presidential envoy for hostage affairs at the Condition Division and has served with earlier administrations and suggested former presidential candidates.

But O’Brien, as opposed to Bolton, is a reasonably very low-profile decide, at the very least in the public sphere.

“He is not a superior-profile determine, and which is critical,” claimed Joel Rubin, a former deputy assistant secretary of state who served beneath previous President Barack Obama.

“This is not a figure who is likely to in any way threaten the primacy of the president on foreign plan,” Rubin explained to Al Jazeera.

Robert O'Brien

Trump listens to his recently introduced White Home national protection adviser Robert O’Brien speak to reporters [Tom Brenner/Reuters] 

Trump compelled Bolton, a top overseas coverage hawk, out last 7 days, saying he “strongly” disagreed with his countrywide safety adviser on numerous issues.

Bolton, explained by quite a few as a “warmonger”, reportedly clashed with Trump on selections connected to Venezuela, North Korea and Iran.

“Trump, just after enduring the Bolton practical experience, clearly has no use for a sturdy identity or ideologue in the Nationwide Stability Adviser place,” tweeted Ned Selling price, the former spokesman for the US Countrywide Security Council under former President Barack Obama.

“Pompeo may possibly not be twin-hatted as Secretary of Point out and NSA, but he may possibly as effectively be with this arrangement,” he added, referring to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Republican overseas policy circles

Most not too long ago, O’Brien received focus owing to his involvement in the A$AP Rocky circumstance in Sweden. Rocky, an American rapper, was held by Swedish police around his alleged involvement in a avenue fight in Stockholm. A decide agreed to launch Rocky, who was afterwards identified guilty and requested to fork out a high-quality.

O’Brien has also held a number of State Office positions and in 2005, served as the US consultant to the UN Common Assembly just after getting nominated by then-President George W Bush and confirmed by the Senate. In that capacity, he worked with Bolton, who was US ambassador to the UN at the time.

According to Reuters Information Company, the pair share disappointment with the planet body. 

“My 13-yr-aged son, who is considerably additional fascinated in sports than politics, walked into the household area yesterday and stated: ‘Dad, I observed on the news that the factor is commencing when all the dictators come to America and give speeches about how bad we are.’ His statement is a single of the much better descriptions of the United Nations General Assembly that I have ever listened to,” Reuters quoted O’Brien as having said. 

Robert O'Brien

US Specific Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs Robert C O’Brien arrives at the district court, through the next day of A$AP Rocky’s demo, in Stockholm, Sweden [File: Handout/Fedrik Persson/TT News Agency/Reuters] 

O’Brien has also served as an adviser on the former Republican presidential strategies of former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, previous Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and Senator Ted Cruz.

“Congratulations to my friend Robert O’Brien,” tweeted Romney.

“As the Distinctive Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs, he has doggedly pursued the launch of American hostages abroad,” Romney additional. “He is a man of maximum integrity.”

Hostage negotiator 

According to Rubin, O’Brien’s hostage negotiation do the job likely appeared advantageous to the president offered O’Brien’s “capability and/or willingness to speak to [US] adversaries”. 

O’Brien served protected the 2018 launch of American pastor Andrew Brunson, whose two-yr imprisonment in Turkey heightened tensions between Washington and Ankara. Previously this yr, O’Brien also played a position in the launch of American Danny Burch who was imprisoned in Yemen. Burch was doing work for an oil firm when he was kidnapped in 2017, according to the New York Instances.

O’Brien retains a legislation diploma from the College of California, Berkeley. Prior to legislation university, he attended the College of California, Los Angeles, where he researched political science.

O’Brien cofounded the legislation agency, Larson O’Brien LLP, and he was a big in the US Military. From 1996 to 1998, he was a senior lawful officer at the UN Protection Council wherever he handled government statements from Iraq soon after the very first Gulf War. He later served less than former Secretaries of State Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton as the co-chairman of the Condition Department’s community-personal partnership for justice reform in Afghanistan.


Trump’s decision will come as the US considers its response to assaults on Saudi Arabian oil facilities, and less than a thirty day period soon after Trump abruptly called off US-Taliban talks, which had been aimed at starting up the method to close 18 a long time of war in Afghanistan. 

US and Saudi officials blame Iran for the weekend assaults on key Saudi oil vegetation, an allegation Tehran denies.

Trump introduced O’Brien as his select not long following he mentioned on Twitter that he experienced requested the substantial raise of sanctions on Iran.

On coverage, Rubin sees O’Brien as a decide on that is “surely … heading to reinforce a lot of [the administration’s] tendencies”.

O’Brien was very critical of Obama’s foreign policy decisions, specially the landmark 2015 Iran nuclear offer, which Trump withdrew the US from last year.

In a series of essays, published as a e-book in 2016 named Although The us Slept: Restoring American Management to a World in Crisis, O’Brien explained the offer, negotiated under Obama, as the “Iran offer catastrophe”.

“In addition to legitimising Iran’s now supposedly ‘peaceful’ atomic programme, the offer will likely direct to a nuclear arms race in the Middle East,” O’Brien wrote. “It is tough to picture that Sunni states these types of as Egypt, Turkey and, especially, Saudi Arabia, will not instantly begin the procedure of procuring nuclear arms on their own or from a sympathetic third region like Pakistan to counter Iran, which will in essence be an internationally recognised nuclear threshold condition.”

In the e-book, O’Brien also warned versus China’s “quick and impressive exertion to create alone as the supreme maritime ability in the eastern Pacific and Indian Oceans”.

O’Brien concludes the ebook by declaring, the US “faces a stark alternative in 2016 in between a continuation of President Obama’s ‘lead from behind’ international coverage and sequester-centered nationwide protection approach and a return to President [Ronald] Reagan’s ‘leader of the totally free world’ foreign coverage and ‘peace by way of strength’ countrywide security approach. The stakes in this risky time could not be any bigger.”

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