Over at The New Republic, Eli Lake has the key background on the United States' attack inside Syria on Sunday. Heralding a "new phase" in the war on terror, Lake writes that, in July, "the Bush administration formally gave the military new power to strike terrorist save havens outside of Iraq and Afghanistan." That means that Gen. Petraeus can order such strikes without Bush's permission. That could mean attacks in places like Kenya, Mali, Pakistan, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen—although Iran would still require approval from the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, since it has the ability to retaliate in the western hemisphere. "With the clock winding down on the administration," Lake writes, "it has a greater appetite for racking up victories against al Qaeda—and less worries about any residual political consequences from striking."
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