Robert O'Brien is an American attorney and diplomat who served as the 28th National Security Advisor under President Donald Trump from 2019 to 2021. Born on June 18, 1966, in Los Angeles, California, O'Brien earned his B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles, and his J.D. from the UC Berkeley School of Law. His career in public service and law is marked by a variety of significant roles. Before his tenure as National Security Advisor, O'Brien served as the Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs at the State Department, where he worked on international hostage negotiation. O'Brien has a long history in Republican foreign policy circles, having served in various roles under both the George W. Bush and Trump administrations. His approach to national security has emphasized a strong military, robust alliances, and a firm stance against America's adversaries. Outside of government, O'Brien is a founding partner at Larson O'Brien LLP in Los Angeles and has authored several books and articles on foreign policy and national security. He is known for his expertise in international law and arbitration, contributing to his recognition as a significant figure in American diplomacy and security.
Books Mentioned on The Jordan B. Peterson Podcast #398 - Ambassador Robert O'Brien
Dr. Jordan Peterson Speaks to a U.S. Hostage Negotiator | Ambassador Robert O'Brien | EP 398
Xi Jinping, the President of China, has made it clear that he intends to overcome what he calls the "Century humiliation" and reclaim all of the land that China believes was historically theirs. This includes the Russian lands that were lost to Western powers during times of weakness. In a recent interview, Ambassador Robert O'Brien discussed his experience as the fourth US security adviser under President Donald Trump, his role as a hostage envoy, and the ongoing success and legacy of the Abraham Accords negotiated under President Trump.
As a former diplomat and litigator, O'Brien's background in international arbitration cases and law gave him the necessary skills to conduct negotiations in his role as a hostage envoy. He worked closely with the president to bring Americans home from detention or wrongful detention by terrorist organizations. O'Brien's commitment to keeping America safe and the president's America First view of the world were instrumental in their success. In the following article, we will delve deeper into O'Brien's experience as a hostage envoy and his insights on negotiations, the perception of American strength, and the complexities of the Russia Ukraine war.
- Xi Jinping's ambitions to reclaim historically Chinese land include Russian lands lost to Western powers.
- Ambassador Robert O'Brien's background in international arbitration cases and law made him successful in his role as a hostage envoy.
- O'Brien's commitment to keeping America safe and the president's America First view of the world were instrumental in their success in bringing Americans home from detention or wrongful detention.
Xi Jinping's Ambitions
Xi Jinping, the current leader of China, has repeatedly expressed his desire to overcome what he calls the "Century humiliation" and to reclaim all the land that he believes historically belongs to China. This includes the territories that China lost to Western powers or during times of weakness. There is speculation that China may even have ambitions to claim Russian lands.
China's expansionist policies have been a cause of concern for many countries, especially those in the Asia-Pacific region. Xi Jinping's Belt and Road Initiative, which aims to connect China with other countries through infrastructure projects, has been viewed by some as a way for China to exert its influence and expand its sphere of influence.
Despite these concerns, China has continued to pursue its ambitions and has become increasingly assertive in its foreign policy. It remains to be seen how other countries will respond to China's growing power and influence in the region.
Role and Challenges of Ambassador Robert O'Brien
Ambassador Robert O'Brien served as the fourth US National Security Adviser under President Donald Trump. He was appointed to the position after serving as the President's hostage envoy, where he worked to bring Americans home from detention or wrongful detention by terrorist organizations.
As the National Security Adviser, O'Brien faced the challenge of working with a President who was viewed as a mystery to many people. Despite being the fourth person to hold the position, O'Brien felt that he had a good relationship with the President and was committed to keeping the country safe. His daily prayer was to keep America safe, and he believed that the President appreciated his commitment to this goal.
O'Brien's past experience as a diplomat in the Bush Administration and as an army officer earlier in his career helped him to conduct negotiations as the hostage envoy. As a litigator in Los Angeles, he also had extensive experience in mediations, which proved useful in his negotiations.
In his role as the hostage envoy, O'Brien negotiated with governments indirectly through third-party diplomats. He negotiated with countries such as Iran through Swiss diplomats and with the Taliban directly. O'Brien's success in bringing Americans home was attributed to the President's tough stand on bringing Americans home and his America First view of the world.
Overall, O'Brien's role as the National Security Adviser and hostage envoy presented unique challenges, but his experience and commitment to keeping America safe helped him to succeed in his positions.
Experience as a Hostage Envoy
Ambassador Robert O'Brien served as the Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs under President Trump before becoming the fourth US National Security Advisor. He received a call from the White House in late 2017, asking if he would be willing to fill the role of being the US hostage envoy. O'Brien accepted the position, despite not planning to go into government, because he always wondered if someone would come looking for him if his plan was hijacked.
As the Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs, O'Brien's job was solely focused on bringing Americans home from detention, wrongful detention, or being held hostage by terrorist organizations. He was successful in getting a lot of Americans home, and the credit for that goes to President Trump's tough stand on bringing Americans home. The President felt that Americans being held abroad just because they were Americans was poking their finger in the eye of the United States, and his America First view of the world was that if someone was taken to leverage their life to try and get the US to change its policy or get a concession or money from the US, the US would not stand for it, and they would get that person home.
O'Brien's past experience as a diplomat in the Bush Administration, an army officer, and a litigator in Los Angeles, where he spent a lot of time in mediations, helped him conduct negotiations successfully. He had the diplomatic experience, and his day-to-day experience as a lawyer in Los Angeles gave him the best background for the job as a hostage envoy. He negotiated with third-party governments to get to governments that they could negotiate with, such as the Swiss diplomats for negotiating with the Iranians and directly with the Russians and the Taliban.
O'Brien's commitment to keeping the country safe and the President's commitment to doing the same, along with their good relationship, led to a lot of accomplishments in the last year and a half in office.
Working Relationship with President Trump
Ambassador Robert O'Brien served as the fourth US security adviser under President Donald Trump. He was initially appointed as the president's hostage envoy, tasked with bringing Americans home from detention or wrongful detention by terrorist organizations. Through this position, O'Brien developed a relationship with President Trump, who appreciated his commitment to keeping the country safe.
Despite being the fourth person to hold the position of security adviser, O'Brien felt that he had a good relationship with the president. He believed that his job every day was to keep America safe, and he felt that the president appreciated his commitment to doing so. O'Brien acknowledged that he was keenly aware of the contentious history of the position but was humbled and honored to have the opportunity to serve as the National Security Adviser.
During his time as the hostage envoy, O'Brien successfully negotiated the release of several Americans held abroad. He attributed his success to his experience as a diplomat, lawyer, and former army officer. O'Brien had the diplomatic experience that allowed him to negotiate with third-party governments, such as the Swiss, who acted as intermediaries in negotiations with the Iranians.
O'Brien's successful track record as a hostage envoy and his commitment to keeping America safe earned him the trust and respect of President Trump, which led to his appointment as the National Security Adviser. During his tenure, O'Brien worked closely with the president to achieve several foreign policy accomplishments, including the Abraham Accords negotiated with Israel and several Arab countries.
Hostage Negotiations: Strategy and Successes
As the former Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs, Ambassador Robert O'Brien has extensive experience in international hostage negotiations. Under the Trump administration, O'Brien successfully negotiated the release of numerous Americans held captive abroad.
The success of these negotiations can be attributed to the administration's tough stance on bringing Americans home. President Trump believed that Americans being held abroad simply because of their nationality was a direct challenge to the United States, and he made it a top priority to bring them home.
To achieve this goal, O'Brien worked closely with various third-party governments to negotiate with countries like Iran and the Taliban. He also relied on his past experience as a diplomat and litigator to conduct successful negotiations.
While negotiating, O'Brien focused solely on bringing Americans home and did not consider other political or diplomatic priorities. This unwavering commitment to the safety of American citizens played a significant role in the success of these negotiations.
Overall, O'Brien's success in hostage negotiations highlights the importance of a strong and unwavering commitment to the safety of American citizens. The Trump administration's tough stance on bringing Americans home and O'Brien's past experience as a diplomat and litigator were crucial in achieving these successes.
Career Path and Diplomatic Experience
Ambassador Robert O'Brien's career path has been focused on diplomacy and international relations. He served as the fourth US security adviser under President Trump, following General Flynn, General McMaster, and John Bolton. Ambassador O'Brien was initially serving as the president's hostage Envoy at the time and was asked to fill the role of US security adviser.
Before joining the Trump administration, Ambassador O'Brien had a successful career as a lawyer in Los Angeles, where he gained extensive experience in international arbitration cases and law cases. He also served as a diplomat in the Bush administration and worked on an Afghanistan program for Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
Ambassador O'Brien's experience as a lawyer in Los Angeles proved to be valuable in his role as a hostage Envoy. He had experience negotiating in hundreds of mediations and serving as an arbitrator, mediator, and neutral.
As a hostage Envoy, Ambassador O'Brien was responsible for negotiating the release of Americans held abroad. He worked with third-party governments to negotiate with countries such as Iran and the Taliban. His success in bringing Americans home was one of the reasons President Trump selected him as the US security adviser.
Ambassador O'Brien's diplomatic experience and negotiation skills were crucial in his role as the US security adviser. He worked closely with President Trump on national security issues and played a key role in the successful negotiation of the Abraham Accords. His commitment to keeping America safe and his strong relationship with the president contributed to the many accomplishments achieved during his tenure as US security adviser.
Direct and Indirect Negotiations
As the former US Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs, Ambassador Robert O'Brien has extensive experience in negotiating for the release of American hostages. In his role, he worked with various governments, including those that the US couldn't negotiate with directly, such as Iran.
Ambassador O'Brien utilized both direct and indirect negotiation tactics to secure the release of hostages. Direct negotiations involve face-to-face talks between the parties involved, while indirect negotiations involve a third party acting as a mediator between the two parties.
For example, when negotiating with the Taliban, Ambassador O'Brien engaged in direct negotiations. However, when negotiating with Iran, he had to work through the Swiss government as intermediaries due to the lack of diplomatic relations between the US and Iran.
Ambassador O'Brien's background in law and diplomacy, as well as his experience in mediations, provided him with the necessary skills to conduct successful negotiations. His commitment to bringing Americans home and President Trump's prioritization of the issue also contributed to their success in securing the release of many hostages.
Perception of Diminished American Strength
The current perception of American strength has been a topic of discussion in recent times. Some experts believe that America's global influence has been declining, leading to a perception of weakened American power. This is a concern that has been raised by many, including former US Security Adviser Ambassador Robert O'Brien.
Ambassador O'Brien has expressed concerns about the perception of diminished American strength, which he believes leaves room for improvement. He has highlighted the need for the US to maintain its leadership role in the world and to work towards strengthening its global influence.
One of the factors contributing to this perception is the rise of China as a global power. China's President Xi Jinping has repeatedly stated his intention to overcome what he calls the "Century humiliation" and regain territories that China believes were historically theirs. This has led to concerns about China's intentions and the potential impact on American influence in the region.
Another factor contributing to the perception of diminished American strength is the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine. The conflict has highlighted the limitations of American influence in the region and raised questions about the effectiveness of American foreign policy.
Despite these concerns, Ambassador O'Brien remains confident in America's ability to maintain its leadership role in the world. He believes that by strengthening its relationships with allies and working towards a more cohesive foreign policy, the US can regain its position as a global superpower.
Legacy of the Abraham Accords
The Abraham Accords, negotiated under President Trump, have had a significant impact on the Middle East. The agreements between Israel, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Bahrain have led to increased economic cooperation, tourism, and diplomatic relations. The normalization of relations between Israel and these Arab nations has been seen as a major step towards peace in the region.
The Abraham Accords have also had a ripple effect, with other Arab nations expressing interest in establishing diplomatic relations with Israel. In October 2020, Sudan became the third Arab country to normalize relations with Israel, followed by Morocco in December of the same year.
The normalization of relations between Israel and Arab nations has also had implications for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. While the Accords do not directly address the issue, they have led to a shift in the regional balance of power, with Arab nations no longer exclusively supporting the Palestinian cause.
Overall, the Abraham Accords have been seen as a significant achievement for the Trump administration and a positive step towards peace and stability in the Middle East.
Russia Ukraine War: Complexities and Perspectives
The Russia Ukraine war has been ongoing since 2014 and has resulted in the deaths of over 13,000 people. The conflict began when Ukraine sought closer ties with the European Union, which Russia saw as a threat to its own interests. The annexation of Crimea by Russia in 2014 further escalated the situation, leading to a full-blown war in eastern Ukraine.
The war has been marked by complex geopolitical factors, including Russia's desire to maintain influence in its neighboring countries and Ukraine's struggle to assert its independence. The conflict has also been fueled by ethnic and linguistic divisions within Ukraine, with many Russian speakers in the east feeling marginalized by the Ukrainian government.
The war has had significant humanitarian consequences, with many civilians caught in the crossfire and facing shortages of basic necessities such as food and water. The conflict has also led to the displacement of over 1.5 million people, with many forced to flee their homes and seek refuge elsewhere.
Despite efforts to broker a peace deal, the conflict remains unresolved, with occasional flare-ups of violence. The situation is further complicated by the involvement of outside actors, including Russia and Western powers, who have taken sides in the conflict.
The perspectives on the conflict vary widely, with some seeing it as a battle for Ukrainian independence and others viewing it as a proxy war between Russia and the West. The resolution of the conflict remains elusive, with many hoping for a peaceful resolution that respects the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.