Obama To Shake Up Security Team
Initial indications have CIA director Leon Panetta being nominated as secretary of defense, and the current commander of armed forces in Afghanistan Gen. David Petraeus taking over for Panetta.
If confirmed by the Senate, Panetta will take over for retiring Secretary of Defense Robert Gates some time this summer. Gates announced his retirement last August.
Gates was a hold over from former President George W. Bush’s administration. President Obama kept Gates in the position to provide continuity while the country was embroiled in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The two were of different minds when it came to intervention in Libya, with Gates opposing U.S. intervention.
But these nominations may be just the tip of the iceberg for the president. CNN reports President Obama will also need to find replacements for Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Robert Mueller, FBI director. Both Mullen and Mueller’s terms expire before the end of the year.
President Obama will also reportedly name Ryan Crocker, former ambassador to Iraq and Syria, ambassador to Afghanistan.
White House spokesman Jay Carney refused to answer questions about the security team shake-up, saying the president would discuss personnel moves on Thursday.
Reach Christine Detz here