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The Romney Foreign Policy Team

10:30 AM, Aug 9, 2012 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
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Here's an intelligent if speculative piece by Foreign Policy's Josh Rogin about what a Romney administration foreign policy team could look like. Full disclosure: Yes, I was one of those with whom Josh spoke for this article. (Unlike everyone else, apparently, I didn't insist on speaking off the record—I suppose Josh didn't want to embarrass all the other shrinking violets by quoting only me by name, and that's of course fine.)

Former senator Jim Talent is widely regarded as the top choice for defense secretary in a potential Romney administration. …

For secretary of state, most advisors interviewed for this article said that Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) is under serious consideration at the top levels of the campaign. An "independent Democrat," Lieberman, who hasn't endorsed any presidential candidate this cycle, was almost chosen by Sen. John McCain to run as vice president on his 2008 ticket. …

Zoellick is also said to be lobbying hard for Foggy Bottom, and some think he could have the inside track, considering that he is the Romney campaign's new head of national security transition planning. But Romney's foreign-policy pronouncements thus far have not been in line with Zoellick's realist views and it's well understood that having a top position in a campaign doesn't assure anyone a top position in the succeeding administration.  A dark-horse candidate for state would be CIA Director David Petraeus, who can't become defense secretary until he has been out of uniform for 7 years but could be America's top diplomat. …

Some think that Romney might go for retired general Jack Keane, who served in an unofficial but important capacity during the Bush administration and has been a strong Romney supporter. …

Other rumored contenders for Romney's NSA are technocratic officials who have served in top policy positions in GOP administrations before, including former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Eric Edelman, former NSC Middle East staffer Elliott Abrams, or former State Department Policy Planning director Mitchell Reiss. Campaign aide Dan Senor, who has been closely advising Romney on all thing Middle East, could be in line for a deputy NSA slot, the kind of role Denis McDonough plays in the current administration, some advisors say.

For the record, and on the record, my notional choices would be, as of now: Secretary of State Joe Lieberman, Secretary of Defense David Petraeus (Congress would have to waive the seven-year rule), National Security Adviser Elliott Abrams, Deputy National Security Adviser Robert Kagan, Ambassador to the United Nations Ryan Crocker, and Director of the CIA Gary Schmitt

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