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Instead of significant U.S. military intervention, Obama seeks a network of partnerships stretching from Morocco to South Asia.It's a strategy in which Obama, despite his legalistic temperament, plays a role I've described as "covert commander in chief". He relies on the two instruments of national power he most trusts: the CIA and its armed drones and "special activities," overseen by Director John Brennan, one of his closest aides; and Special Operations Command's "Global SOF Network," developed by Adm. William McRaven, the architect of the Osama bin Laden raid and perhaps Obama's favorite military adviser.America's prospective partners seem wary of the role Obama envisions.The best example of a mobilization similar to what Obama is imagining in his counterterrorism partnership was the global covert action launched by President Ronald Reagan against the Soviet Union. Obama has the right concept in creating a global network of Special Operations forces and intelligence services that can combat the frightening evolution of Al-Qaeda into new and potentially more toxic offshoots.
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