White House Makes it Official on Ross

Copyright 2009
Thursday, June 25, 2009; 2:41 PM

By Glenn Kessler The White House announced today the worst kept secret in Washington -- that diplomatic troubleshooter Dennis Ross was leaving the State Department to join the National Security Council staff, overseeing a range of hot spots -- Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Middle East. Ross had been Hillary Rodham Clinton's special adviser on the Persian Gulf and Southwest Asia (i.e., Iran.) He gained fame as the Middle East envoy in the Clinton administration and director of policy planning in the first Bush administration. The new job appears to come with significantly more responsibility. In an e-mailed statement, spokesman Mike Hammer said National Security Adviser "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

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