Obama's National Security Point Man

Jim Jones, Obama's National Security Adviser, has a general's stars and a pol's touch. He'll need both to help his boss succeed in the Middle East

Wesley Mann for TIME

Jim Jones, Obama's National Security Adviser

When George W. Bush decided in late 2007 to make a final-year push for Middle East peace, he turned to retired Marine general James L. Jones for help. But after two months as Bush's Middle East envoy, Jones concluded that brokering a deal between Israel and the Palestinians inside of 12 months was, in his words, a "grandiose hope." So Jones turned his attention to the more modest goal of making peace in one city in the Palestinian-controlled West Bank.

Now Jones is about to become Barack Obama's National Security Adviser amid the worst violence between Palestinians and Israelis in eight...

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