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News Link • WAR: About that War

Siamese twins sharing the same brain

• William J Astore, Asia Times
Introduction by Tom Engelhardt
President Barack Obama recently reshuffled his top Washington warriors, sending Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director Leon Panetta, a man who knows congress well, on to the Pentagon to replace retiring Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. In turn, the president is bringing in General David Petraeus, present Afghan war commander, former Central Command chief and former Iraq war commander (as well as "George W Bush's general"), to run the agency.

Whatever the local politics involved, and the Petraeus appointment ensures that the potentially popular general will be on the political sidelines for campaign year 2012, these moves catch the zeitgeist of our Washington moment. Since the Osama bi
n Laden assassination, in which US military special operations forces "commanded" by Panetta took out the al-Qaeda leader, a new face of American war, "where sovereignty is irrelevant, armies tangential, and decisions are secret", has been emerging according to Foreign Policy in Focus analyst Conn Hallinan.

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