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The top Pentagon job overseeing the secret special operations war on terrorist groups has been offered to former U.S. counterterrorism ambassador Michael Sheehan, according to two senior U.S. officials.

If he accepts and is confirmed, Sheehan would have one of the most powerful civilian jobs in America’s covert war against al-Qaida and its offshoots, helping coordinate clandestine special operations raids and covert drone strikes arrayed against militants operating from Pakistan to Afghanistan to Yemen.

The post, currently held by CIA veteran Michael Vickers, comes with the cumbersome title of assistant secretary of defense for special operations / low-intensity conflict & interdependent capabilities. It is critical in overseeing black operations by both U.S. special operations and the intelligence community.

Sheehan, a retired U.S. Army Green Beret, did not return calls to his New York-based consulting firm, the Lexington Security Group. But the offer was confirmed by the officials, who insisted on anonymity because White House officials had not yet announced the choice. The White House, which has final say over the post, declined to comment Monday.

Source: The Associated Press

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