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A Tough Call In Pakistan

The WaPo spotlights one that probably deserves more attention:

Officials would not comment on whether Obama has reissued a covert action "finding," signed by President George W. Bush last summer, that authorized ground raids into Pakistan by military Special Operations units working with the CIA. There has been no known ground operation since September, however, and the advisability of such raids is a point of disagreement between Petraeus -- who considers any tactical gain on the ground to be not worth the strategic risk of a massive popular backlash in Pakistan -- and the U.S. Special Operations Command.

Robert Gibbs fielded a question about this at the WH briefing the other day and completely ducked it.

Also in the piece--Holbrooke cometh:

Holbrooke, who reports directly to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, was said to be appalled not only at the walls that still separate military and civilian efforts but also at compartmentalization within the department itself, where separate task forces deal with Afghanistan and Pakistan.

You don't want an appalled Holbrooke in your face. According to David Halberstam, Jacques Chirac once asked Bill Clinton how Holbrooke managed to negotiate a 1995 Balkan peace deal with the brutal Serbian strongman Slobodan Milosevic.

"Because he has the same character as Milosevic," Clinton replied, admiringly.

--Michael Crowley