The Blog

Jim Jones vs. Dick Holbrooke?

11:30 AM, Apr 24, 2009 • By MICHAEL GOLDFARB
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Following up on Joe Klein's statement against interest yesterday regarding the apparently tenuous position of Jim Jones as National Security Adviser, Laura Rozen also hears that Jones isn't exactly meshing with the rest of the Obama team:

Several sources have in recent weeks described Jones as having a problematic tenure at the NSC, a subject that no one there has wanted to discuss or would provide comment on.

The peg for Rozen is another attempt by Jones to redraw the world map in a manner more to his liking. You'll recall the Washington Post profile of Jones shortly after the inauguration in which Jones said that one of his priorities was to see that maps were "redrawn to ensure that all departments and agencies take the same regional approach to the world."

That project ran into stiff opposition from other departments, but Jones continues in his bureaucratic battle, this time expanding the portfolio of General Doug Lute, the Bush administration's surprisingly low-key and successful war czar, to include the same territory covered by CENTCOM. Rozen says "It is not clear what Lute's expanded portfolio means for the senior staff who had already been appointed to run regional directorates that it includes." I'd be more curious what this move means for, and to, Richard Holbrooke, who seems far more competent than Jones at the skills required for bureaucratic maneuver warfare -- and who had already marked off Southwest Asia for himself. Holbrooke may have antagonized Jones when he rolled him on the Iraq ambassador issue, but if Jones is in trouble it hardly seems wise for him to poke Holbrooke in the eye.

Or is it possible that Holbrooke is the one fueling the rumors about Jones being in trouble in the first place?

HT: Michael Crowley