As Gates steps down, Panetta to head Pentagon, Petraeus CIA


President Barack Obama will nominate CIA director Leon Panetta as defense secretary, resetting his national security team ahead of the 2012 presidential campaign and a battle over the Pentagon budget.

Obama will also nominate Army General David Petraeus, the head of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, to replace Panetta as CIA director, and veteran diplomat Ryan Crocker as U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, U.S. officials said.

The long-anticipated changes, which must be confirmed by the Senate, would place a long-standing Democratic Party figure at the helm of the Pentagon as Obama presses forward with politically delicate policies in Afghanistan and Libya.

The administration and Congress also face mounting calls for defense spending cuts as Washington looks for ways to narrow the yawning U.S. budget deficit, which stands at $1.4 trillion this year.

The current defense chief, Robert Gates, was appointed by former President George W. Bush, a Republican, and has proved to be an outspoken maverick on key issues under both administrations. Gates, himself a former CIA director, had made it clear that he would step down as defense chief this year.

Panetta, who turns 73 in June, is a former U.S. representative from California who served as chairman of the House Budget Committee. He was former President Bill Clinton’s budget director, then chief of staff.

via Panetta to head Pentagon, Petraeus CIA | Reuters.

About the Author

Politisite delivers the latest Breaking Political News, Debate Coverage, Election Results, Commentary and Analysis. We provide in-depth news with special reports and interactive political coverage. Politisite was a pioneer in internet political news gathering and dissemination. Politisite came live in early 1998 and become the first internet only news source to cover local, state, and national political campaigns, debates and elections. Before there were the terms Blog, Blogger, New Media, or Crowd-sourcing, Politisite was developing what has become the standard in political news coverage, long before most political sites were even conceived. The Name ‘Politisite” simply means Political Website.

Author Archive Page

Post a Comment