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Dennis Ross: A Measure Of Clarity

Just released from Mike Hammer, spokesman for the National Security Council:

“National Security Advisor General James Jones is pleased to announce an addition to our already strong National Security Staff. The addition is in the important Central Region that encompasses the Middle East, the Gulf, Afghanistan, Pakistan and South Asia. Gen. Jones is in the midst of a several day trip to this important region.

Dennis Ross will become Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for the Central Region with overall responsibility for the region.  He will work with Don Camp, Senior Director for South Asia, Lt. Gen. Doug Lute, Special Assistant to the President and Senior Adviser and Coordinator for Afghanistan-Pakistan, Dan Shapiro, Senior Director for Near East and North Africa, and Puneet Talwar, Senior Director for the Gulf States, Iran and Iraq.”

Allow the parsing to begin. What’s the organizational chart here? What does it mean to "work with" Camp, Lute, Shapiro and Talwar? Who works for whom, exactly? And did Ian Kelly say at today’s State Department presser that Ross is still working at State?

I notice that Ross is a special assistant to Obama and not an assistant — like, say, counterterrorism chief John Brennan, who decides for himself when he can see the president.

Crossposted to The Streak.

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Spencer Ackerman

Spencer Ackerman

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