Friday, Aug 12, 2022
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Bob The Builder

Blackwill may have moved on, but not away from India

Bob The Builder
Bob The Builder
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

Blackwill is effectively the No. 2 man in the National Security Council. But the buzz is he may become No. 1 if President Bush wins another term, with Condoleezza Rice taking over as secretary of state. He is seen as Rice's "alter ego" at the nsc, the ultimate policy well into which various departments pour their inputs. He has made a smooth transition from being a public figure in India to working behind the scenes, fitting in well in an administration known for valuing secrecy.

While sitting in the inner rings of the power circle that surrounds the White House, Blackwill still maintains his links with Mother India, something he had eloquently expanded on in his farewell speeches. His office has a large map of India and the only object of veneration on his clean table besides the 'in' and 'out' trays is a small Ganesha statue. Despite his preoccupation with the world's prime trouble spots, officials say he keeps in touch with Indian policy issues, meets Indian visitors and speaks to academic groups. No one's complaining: when the powerful show an interest, it can only augur well for the future. Last month he took time to meet foreign minister Yashwant Sinha to get an update on the prospects for peace in South Asia. He attended a vin d'honneur to celebrate India's Republic Day at Ambassador Lalit Mansigh's residence, adding to the already glittering power roster led by Senator Hillary Clinton and David Mulford, who has recently left as the new US ambassador to India.

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