President Obama announced Friday that Gen. James Jones will resign as national security later this month and be replaced by Tom Donilon, the deputy national security adviser. Both Jones and Donilon were in the White House Rose Garden when Obama announced the change.
Donilon, who was widely considered the frontrunner to replace Emanuel, will now get a chance to leave a bigger mark on Obama’s foreign policy. He will not need Senate confirmation because the position is considered a White House job. Donilon has overseen the coordination among deputy chiefs from across the security apparatus and is known for bringing an understanding of domestic policy and politics to the job. Jones, meanwhile, has kept a generally low public profile. White House aides say he put his stamp on Obama’s major foreign policy decisions over the last 20 months, including a reinforced troop presence in Afghanistan, a winding-down of the war in Iraq and a retooled relationship with Russia. Administration officials said they expect Jones to go into a semiretirement in which he will likely serve on boards and offer counsel to the White House.