Obama’s National-Security Picks Cross the Line Between Spy and Soldier

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Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images, Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

The two major nominees for President Obama's revamped national-security team have something in common: They both like to borrow from the other's field of expertise. Leon Panetta, the current CIA director expected to be named secretary of Defense, morphed the CIA into a paramilitary organization by using armed drones to bomb Pakistan and bumping up the number of secret bases and covert ops in Afghanistan. General Petraeus, likewise, should have no problem once he replaces Panetta as CIA director. After all, Petraeus had his troops conduct secret intelligence missions. Although the two camps (spy and soldier) have different legal protections, those on the business end of America's classified missions in the Middle East likely already found them indistinguishable. [NYT]