by Rob Margetta, Congressional Quarterly

Dec 4, 2008

When President-elect Barack Obama introduced key members of his national security team on Dec. 1, there was one official notable only for being absent from the Chicago stage: a new homeland security adviser.

Behind the closed doors of the Obama transition team, some of most influential voices in national security are debating whether the White House’s Homeland Security Council should be integrated into the older, larger and better-funded National Security Council. In that context, it could be telling that the presumptive new head of the NSC — Gen. James Jones — appeared at the Dec. 1 news conference without an HSC counterpart.

“If that person’s not there, I don’t think that person’s going to be part of the team,” said Vance Taylor, a principal at Catalyst Partners. “If he hasn’t made his decision, I think he’s 99.9 percent there.”

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