As election day approached, both presidential candidates were given a CIA briefing, sketching out the shape of the world the winner would inherit. At the end of an exhausting and sometimes terrifying list of global threats, Barack Obama took a deep breath, according to someone familiar with his session, and said: "Good grief, why do I want this job?"
Now the job is his, and he has until January 20 to ready himself and his staff before taking on a troubled world. Obama has of course been preparing for years. He has approached foreign policy in the same cool and strategic manner he handled the long campaign. By the end of the race, there were 300 foreign policy experts - divided up into groups by region and issue - brainstorming for him.That huge thinktank moved from campaigning to transition mode weeks before election day so that it would be ready to break to the surface as soon as the votes were counted. The new president-elect is said to be anxious to avoid the mistakes of Bill Clinton and George Bush, who took months to get their policies and staff in place while the world changed around them. Some reports from the Obama camp suggest a national security team could be named by the end of the week.What are Obama's plans - and can he deliver them? | World news | The Guardian