President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaBiden calls for unity, jabs at Trump in campaign launch Several factors have hindered 'next up' presidential candidates in recent years Lewandowski: Why Joe Biden won't make it to the White House — again MORE has assembled a top-notch National Security team and now that the team is officially in place, I hope to see them move forward on at least four major fronts.

First, I expect to see them put in place an effective and responsible plan to reduce our troop presence in Iraq and shift our focus to the deteriorating situations in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The resurgence of the Taliban and Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan is the greatest threat to our security and needs to be given greater priority. Increasing our troop numbers will be a good start, but the new team must also forge a more robust, comprehensive long-term strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan that leverages diplomacy, development assistance and other tools to build stability and minimize the threat from extremists.

Second, I am confident the Obama Administration will move quickly and responsibly to close Guantanamo Bay and develop a comprehensive strategy to deal with counter-terrorism detainees. Over the last eight years we have severely damaged our image abroad through our detention policies, and closing Guantanamo and fixing the overall detainee problem will help restore our image and foster the goodwill we need to address global challenges effectively.

Third, we need to think carefully and act decisively about the competing needs in the defense budget. We do not have the resources to fund all the programs and projects at the Pentagon -- some of which still reflect a Cold War mentality -- while also adding funding to bolster our counterinsurgency and counterterrorism capabilities to the extent necessary. Some hard decisions must be made, and funding may need to be cut. But we are fighting a new type of war that demands a new response. This means we must change our spending priorities to build a military that can most effectively respond to the new types of threats we face.

Finally, the advancement of effective global development and soft power strategies must be a priority. Current development efforts are too underfunded and inefficient to successfully tackle global poverty and address weak states. Further, our civilian agencies lack sufficient capacity in terms of personnel and resources to carry out an effective foreign policy.  Some of the biggest deficiencies exist in public diplomacy and development efforts, but the gaps are nearly across the board, and our military has been forced in recent years to fill them. We need to empower the State Department, USAID and other civilian agencies to take the lead in these critical endeavors.

If President Obama and his team move quickly and effectively on those four elements, Americans will have a much smarter and stronger national security policy.