as Robert Gates Retires
By: Althea Dixon
WHITE HOUSE Correspondent
(D.C.) President Obama will nominate CIA Director Leon Panetta this week as secretary of defense, replacing Robert M. Gates as part of a series of national security shifts that will also place Afghanistan war commander Gen. David H. Petraeus in the top CIA job, U.S. officials said.
Ryan C. Crocker, a five-time ambassador who retired in 2009 after wartime service in Iraq, will be assigned to head the U.S. diplomatic mission in Kabul.
Marine Lt. Gen. John R. Allen, Air force who is currently the deputy commander of the U.S. Central Command, will take Petreaus’s job in Afghanistan. Gates’s retirement date is scheduled for June 30, when Panetta will take over at defense, assuming he is confirmed by the Senate.
Patraeus will retire from the Army, to become CIA Director. He will assume Duty the first of September.
The agency will be headed for several months by an interim director. The delay in Petraeus’s move will allow him to oversee the critical summer fighting season in Afghanistan and the initial withdrawal of U.S. combat troops pledged by Obama. Officials said that both the numbers and configuration of units to be withdrawn will be decided under Gates prior to his retirement. Postponement of Petraeus’s departure will also allow time for a smooth handover to Allen.
Planning for the changes has been underway since March. Panetta accepted the National Security post Monday after much consideration.The President will make the announcement tomorrow.
These changes are dependent upon Senate Nomination Agreement.
B4B NOTE: We would like to thank Robert Gates for all he has done for the safety and well-being of Our Country. Your work is Greatly Appreciated.