Indra Nooyi, Fareed Zakaria in US dream team

October 21st, 2008 - 10:00 am ICT by IANS  

Sarah PalinWashington, Oct 21 (IANS) If the next US president follows the advice of some analysts, Indian-born PepsiCo chief Indra Nooyi should be the next secretary or treasury or at least the US trade representative and Newsweek editor Fareed Zakaria should be national security advisor.The Foreign Policy journal’s website invited a panel of experts to name their dream team for the next president.

“The next American president will confront a host of potential cataclysms: from a virulent financial crisis to a vicious terrorist enemy, nuclear proliferation to climate change. He’ll need his country’s brightest minds - not his party’s usual suspects. So, we asked 10 of the world’s top thinkers to name the unlikely team that can best guide No. 44 through the turbulent years ahead.”

Shashi Tharoor, former UN under secretary general, nominated Nooyi as US trade representative in his dream team.

“A business leader who heads a multinational corporation, an immigrant knowledgeable about conditions in the developing world, and a feisty woman with advanced diplomatic skills, the PepsiCo chair could transform the negotiations for a new ‘development round’ of global trade talks,” noted Tharoor.

But Cesare Merlini, executive vice president at the Council for the US and Italy, went a step further and saw the next secretary of the treasury in her.

“The PepsiCo chair is not only a woman (a first for the treasury), but she also comes from the manufacturing sector rather than the toxic atmosphere of Wall Street,” Merlini said.

She will have a tough contest there as two experts see maverick investor Warren Buffet as the best bet for the key post.

Kishore Mahboobani, dean of the Lee Kuan Yew school at the National University of Singapore, thinks Zakaria would fit the bill as national security advisor.

“In The Post-American World, Zakaria describes the complex world the United States must navigate and why a return to pragmatic realism is the answer. Newsweek International’s editor is a great communicator, in public and in private, and he can persuade the Washington establishment to change its outdated worldview.”

Among some surprising choices for the dream team: Tharoor sees Bill Clinton as the best candidate for the post of the secretary of state.

“There is no more popular American in the world than the former president, and no one else with comparable energy, knowledge, experience, and credibility to undo the negative stereotypes that have grown out of Washington’s conduct after 9/11.”

Gideon Rachman, chief foreign affairs columnist for the Financial Times, though Sarah Palin, the running mate of Republican presidential candidate John McCain, should be made the next US ambassador to Russia.

The governor’s taste for hunting, plain-spoken talk, and foxy boots - not to mention long years of staring at Russia from Alaska - ensure a special relationship with Putin.”

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