National Security

General David Petraeus, Leon Panetta Picks Blur Lines Between Spy and Soldier

President Obama’s selections of CIA Director Leon Panetta as his next Defense Secretary and General David Petraeus to replace Panetta at the CIA are the best evidence yet of an increasing trend: the line between soldiering and spying is becoming increasingly indistinct. Panetta helped turn the CIA into a paramilitary organization by escalating the use of drone strikes and building secret bases in Afghanistan; Petraeus, meanwhile, had troops conduct secret intelligence missions. “The result is that American military and intelligence operatives are at times virtually indistinguishable from each other ,” The New York Times writes.