The US President Donald Trump has named Robert O'Brien as his new national security advisor. O’Brien is the fourth person to hold this position after his predecessors resigned due to significant differences in views with the President.
"I have worked long and hard with Robert," Trump said. "He will do a great job!"
Former lawyer, O'Brien graduated with a law degree from the University of California, Berkeley. Before becoming Trump’s national security advisor, he oversaw hostage affairs at the US State Department. Previously, he served as the Co-Chairman of the U.S. Department of State Public-Private Partnership for Justice Reform in Afghanistan under both Secretaries Rice and Clinton.
O’Brien has been widely perceived as Trump’s loyalist even before the 2016 elections. The “foreign policy hawk” John Bolton, on the other hand, did not share many of the president’s opinions, which served as a reason for his resignation. Donald Trump’s plan to replace the "warmonger” with a hostage negotiator is seen as an attempt to find someone who would fully support the president’s policies.
"We've got a number of challenges", O’Brien noted.
The new national security advisor shares the same views as Donald Trump on UN importance and Iranian nuclear deal. "It will likely lead to a nuclear arms race in the Middle East," O'Brien commented.
He is also cautious of the Chinese military potential in the Eastern Pacific and Indian Oceans.
O'Brien appears to be Trump’s obedient proxy, ready to take the president’s commands. "It's a privilege to serve with the President. We look forward to another year and a half of peace through strength," he complimented the White House head. "We've had tremendous foreign policy successes under President Trump's leadership. I expect those to continue."
"He is not a high-profile figure, and that's important. This is not a figure who is going to in any way threaten the primacy of the president on foreign policy," former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State under Barack Obama’s administration Joel Rubin assessed.
What is important, the new national security advisor has vast experience as a negotiator with low-democratic regimes.
He negotiated for the release of an American pastor Andrew Brunson in 2018, who has been held in a Turkish prison for two years, serving as a reason for tensions between Washington and Ankara. This year, O'Brien played a role in the release of an American oil company worker Danny Burch who was imprisoned in Yemen.
One of the Russian politicians has already appreciated Robert O'Brien appointment. Сhair of the Foreign Affairs Committee Konstantin Kosachev expressed his hope for a new, diplomatic foreign policy in his blog on "Echo of Moscow".
O'Brien also served as an observer at the 2014 after-Maidan parliamentary elections.
In 2014, he published an article in The National Interest magazine, advising to regard Russia's aggression against Ukraine as part of a broader destruction process of the world order.