Tags: jim | jones | obama | security

Report: Jones' White House Days Numbered

Thursday, 11 Jun 2009 10:05 PM

President Barack Obama’s national security adviser, Gen. Jim Jones, is facing forced resignation because of his “poor performance,” according to Fox News.

Several White House and National Security Council sources told Fox that the retired Marine general is so forgetful and inefficient that several officials seriously wonder if he’s suffering from Alzheimer's disease.

Jones' primary duty is to manage the conflicting views of the State Department, Pentagon, and other parts of U.S. foreign policy. But Jones, a close friend of U.S. Sen. John McCain, isn't seen near Obama's side often and he has kept his distance from the media.

Obama officials don't expect Jones, who is known as a fluent French speaker with an expertise in European military affairs, to stay in his post past the fall, one source told Fox.

The rumors of Jones’ poor performance had grown so rife that Defense Secretary Robert Gates took the unusual step this week of reaching out to The Washington Post to defend Jones.

Gates told Washington Post columnist David Ignatius that the rumors are coming from "lower levels," not from any of the power brokers.

"If nobody's fighting, nobody's having fun," he said.

But Gates did admit that cultural and generational differences exist between the White House and the foreign policy makers. Still, he added that he doesn't sense "antagonism" or "jealousy."

"Jim and (Secretary of State) Hillary (Clinton) and I have joked with each other that we're of a different generation than those in the White House," Gates said. "While they're texting, we're on the cell phone or even a land line."

Gates said Jones is "among the best" national security advisers he's seen. He described him to Ignatius as "the glue that holds this team together" and as an "honest broker."

"I can trust Jim to represent my views on an issue to the president," he said. "He is a facilitator, not an obstacle, and that hasn't always been true in that job."

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