President Obama is shaking up his national security team.
According to multiple media reports, the president will announce this week that he has chosen current Central Intelligence Agency director Leon Panetta to succeed Robert Gates as secretary of defense. The change, which has been rumored to be in the works for some time, is expected to occur sometime this summer.
Meanwhile, Gen. David Petraeus, who currently is the commander of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, will take over for Panetta as the chief of the CIA.
The New York Times:
“Not long after Mr. Gates leaves, the term will expire for the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen, who, like the defense secretary, was appointed by President George W. Bush. And Deputy Secretary of State James B. Steinberg has announced that he is leaving for an academic job—removing one of the crucial players in Mr. Obama’s efforts to manage China’s rise.
"But Mr. Gates’s role is the most critical. He often allied with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton—who has said that she intends to leave the administration when this term ends—including persuading Mr. Obama to start the military buildup in Afghanistan in 2009. Together they won many other battles, but they visibly split last month on the military intervention in Libya.”
A few more changes of note, via Politico: Marine Gen. John Allen will replace Petraeus in Afghanistan, and former U.S. ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker will take over for current U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan Karl Eikenberry.