Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Obama Opts for Name Brands at DOD & CIA

Updated 4 p.m. edt

Marine Lt. Gen. John Allen, deputy commander of U.S. Central Command, will replace Gen. David Petraeus as commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, a U.S. official confirmed today.

Allen also commanded troops in Iraq. Here is his full biography from CENTCOM (scroll down to the middle of the page).

CBS White House correspondent Mark Knoller reports at this hour that Petraeus will retire from the military and will run CIA as a civilian, beginning in September.

NBC, meanwhile, is reporting Defense Secretary Robert Gates will retire June 30th.

end update

President Obama is avoiding controversial and contentious choices to head the Pentagon and the Central Intelligence Agency, opting for spymaster Leon Panetta to head the Department of Defense, and one of America's most beloved commanders, Gen. David Petraeus, to run the CIA.

The formal announcements are expected tomorrow, and neither Panetta nor Petraeus are expected to have much of a problem clearing the Senate confirmation process.

CIA Director Panetta will replace outgoing Defense Secretary Robert Gates, while Petraeus would in turn fill the slot at the spy agency. Gates, who along with Hillary Clinton, became one of Obama's most trusted counselors, has long said he would bolt the administration sometime this year.

Panetta will likely preside over a DoD that will have to embrace an era austerity, cutting the fat out of a military-industrial complex that has preyed on fear since the Cold War to a create a corporate warfare system that has filled their treasuries in exchange for kickbacks to politicians in the form of campaign contributions and unsavory junkets.

Petraeus will have the task of rallying a CIA that, in order, has missed the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the 9/11 plot and attacks, and most recently, the Pan-Arab pro-democracy uprising that so far has toppled two (three, if the Yemen deal holds) dictators.

Some in the main stream media are already calling this a shakeup, but it really is more about continuity than a martini made the way James Bond likes it.

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