Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Petraeus for CIA Chief?

There is word that current CIA director Leon Panetta is preparing to resign from his post about two years into the job. Panetta has overseen the widening of drone strikes in Pakistan and it is unclear who he will pass the baton to. One name that has been floated is General David Petraeus, who is currently the commanding officer in Afghanistan. Petraeus has overseen two "surges" in the country-- one of NATO forces, and the other of local Afghans to protect themselves.

Considering Petraeus' great feat of winning the Iraq War in 2007-2008, he would be a great person for the job. Few, if any US citizens have as clear of a grasp on foreign policy issues and intelligence as the General. He would be a further asset to this country and our security if this is the case.

The possible move shows that the Obama administration is having a hard time finding a slot for the general, once considered a potential 2012 nominee for Republicans. Some might view a Petraeus appointment to the CIA as an attempt by President Barack Obama to neutralise a possible rival.

I would have thought he would be a natural choice for chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff when Admiral Mike Mullen retires at the end of the year but apparently he’s not viewed as a contender for that. There would be some pushback from the Left over nominating him for CIA but Petraeus is such a bipartisan rock star on Capitol Hill that it’s hard not to see him being confirmed almost unanimously.

Of course, it is unclear that he would even take the task. First, he may not even be named. Secondly, he is reportedly 'not happy' in Afghanistan, which could compel him to go to Langley. It's up in the air right now.

Cross-posted at WorldThreats.

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