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Leon Panetta to Take Over at Pentagon, General Petraeus to Head CIA

April 27, 2011

The unofficial word is that CIA Director Leon Panetta will become the next Defense Secretary:

In a major shakeup of President Barack Obama’s national security team, CIA director Leon Panetta will take over as the new defense secretary this summer, a US official told AFP Wednesday.

As part of the overhaul, Obama also is expected to name General David Petraeus, the top US and NATO commander in Afghanistan, to succeed Panetta at the helm of the Central Intelligence Agency, US media reported.

Panetta, 72, would replace Defense Secretary Robert Gates, an influential figure in Obama’s cabinet whose tenure began under Obama’s predecessor, George W. Bush.

In a major shakeup of President Barack Obama’s national security team, CIA director Leon Panetta will take over as the new defense secretary this summer, a US official told AFP Wednesday.

As part of the overhaul, Obama also is expected to name General David Petraeus, the top US and NATO commander in Afghanistan, to succeed Panetta at the helm of the Central Intelligence Agency, US media reported.

Panetta, 72, would replace Defense Secretary Robert Gates, an influential figure in Obama’s cabinet whose tenure began under Obama’s predecessor, George W. Bush.
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Gates, who had vowed to step down later this year, is himself a former CIA director and has spoken highly of Panetta’s work at the spy agency.

If he receives Senate confirmation to the top Pentagon post, Panetta would be the first Democrat to hold the top US defense job since William Perry in 1997.

ABC and NBC television reported that Petraeus, the commander leading military operations in Afghanistan, will be replaced there by Lieutenant General John Allen, who currently is deputy head of US Central Command.

On the civilian side in Afghanistan, Ryan Crocker, a former US diplomat who served as ambassador in Pakistan and Iraq, will reportedly replace Ambassador Karl Eikenberry in Kabul, who has had a strained relationship with the Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

[snip]

Panetta — who enjoys solid bipartisan support in Congress — emerged as a strong candidate to succeed Gates as Pentagon chief after it became clear Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was not interested in the job.


[emphasis mine]

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Richard A. Sands, PD/PI permalink
    April 27, 2011 3:13 pm

    I would highly recommend or suggest paying much more attention to the enemies from within our boarders; i.e., drug, human and weapons traffickers who are indeed working behind your backs while everyone else is paying attention to all the other intended diversions and/or distractions created by said same worldwide corporate criminal enterprises…

  2. April 27, 2011 3:24 pm

    Repeating: I would highly recommend or suggest paying much more attention to the enemies from within our boarders; i.e., drug, human and weapons traffickers who are indeed working behind your backs while everyone else is paying attention to all the other intended diversions and/or distractions created by said same worldwide corporate criminal enterprises…

  3. Carolyn-Rodham permalink
    April 28, 2011 12:13 am

    I missed this story with all the brou-ha-ha about that OTHER story. Interesting choice – he was Bill’s COS and supported Hillary over Obama in 2008, so I guess it’s safe to say they’ll have a good working relationship.

    I was surprised by the line you highlighted, too,
    stacy. Didn’t realize Hillary was Obama’s first choice to replace Gates, as the article suggests, despite the rumors and speculation that she might swap cabinet posts.

  4. PYW permalink
    April 29, 2011 10:46 am

    Hillary certainly would’ve received strong bipartisan support if she had been picked as secretary of defense. I can easily believe Obama would’ve chosen her, if she weren’t ready to return to private life as her tenure as SoS.

  5. PYW permalink
    April 29, 2011 10:47 am

    oops. I meant AFTER her tenure …

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