Mark Lippert, a senior national security adviser to Obama during the campaign, will be chief-of-staff at the National Security Council. ...

In that role, he's likely to be a constant presence by Obama's side. Lippert, an intelligence officer who served in the Iraq war, was the first foreign policy adviser that Sen. Obama hired.

Robert Dreyfuss at the Nation said of Lippert, disapprovingly: "Obama's key staffer was Mark Lippert, a former aide to Senator Patrick Leahy. A Wall Street Journal profile of Lippert last fall portrayed the two men as intimate friends and quoted Obama calling Lippert 'one of my favorite people in the world.' According to those who've worked closely with Lippert, he is a conservative, cautious centrist who often pulled Obama to the right on Iraq, Iran and the Middle East and who has been a consistent advocate for increased military spending. 'Even before Obama announced for the presidency, Lippert wanted Obama to be seen as tough on Iran,' says a lobbyist who's worked the Iran issue on Capitol Hill. 'He's clearly more hawkish than the senator.'"

Lippert served on the staff of the Senate Appropriations Foreign Operations subcommittee--the foreign aid committee--for six years, and is well known to pro-Israel activists.