Shake-up At Pentagon?

April 27, 2011 by USA Post 

Shake-up At Pentagon?, President Barack Obama appoint Leon Panetta, a veteran Washington politician and the current CIA director, as Secretary of Defense as it restores its national security team before the 2012 presidential campaign and a battle over the Pentagon budget.

Obama will appoint General David Petraeus, who is running the war in Afghanistan after leading the campaign to quell the insurgency in Iraq, replacing Panetta at the CIA, U.S. officials also said on Wednesday.

Troubleshooting diplomat Ryan Crocker, who has served as ambassador to Iraq, Pakistan, Syria, Kuwait and Lebanon, will be appointed as ambassador to Afghanistan.

The changes, which require confirmation by the U.S. Senate is expected to be announced on Thursday.

The long-awaited review could have broad implications for the Obama administration, which is carrying out further cuts in defense spending in the face of a huge budget deficit and begin to withdraw troops from Afghanistan this July.

Panetta is a Democratic Party insider seen as close to Obama, it might be more receptive to further cuts in defense spending that the outgoing Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, a vestige of the Republican administration of Bush.

Panetta, who turns 73 in June, is a former U.S. representative in California, who was president of the Budget Committee of the House? He was director of former President Bill Clinton, the budget, then and chief of staff.

“Panetta has a deeper experience of budget issues that any U.S. national security official who serves today,” said Travis Sharp, a defenseanlyst at the Center for a New American Security.

And to begin withdrawal from Afghanistan, the United States is set to withdraw its forces from Iraq entirely by the end of 2011. The course of the campaign in Libya is not clear how the new challenges outbreak in North Africa and Middle East.

The White House declined to comment on the expected changes, as did the Pentagon. White House spokesman Jay Carney said only “we will have a personal announcement tomorrow.”

Gates influence among Republicans helped protect Obama’s initial criticism of his handling of the war policy, a political asset that the president will be hard to duplicate as he heads to the 2012 presidential campaign.

CIA, the Pentagon in Afghanistan Split

In the selection of Petraeus, the commander of U.S. forces and NATO in Afghanistan, Obama advances perhaps most famous generals of U.S. military and a hero among Republicans to one of the most important messages and difficult to fill in his administration.

Petraeus, 58, is credited with pulling Iraq from the brink of civil war and proclaimed battlefield successes in Afghanistan after an increase of 30,000 additional troops ordered by Obama in late 2009.

However, Petraeus is a somewhat less optimistic about the campaign in Afghanistan from inside CIA headquarters, whereanlysts have presented a far more cautious about the unpopular war, almost ten years old.

Petraeus had left Afghanistan and is expected to arrive in Washington before the White House announcement on Thursday, authorities said.

Before word of the reorganization broke, some experts in Washington suggested that the White House wanted a high profile position to ensure that Petraeus would not be used by Republicans to challenge Obama next year, perhaps as a choice for vice president.

A U.S. official said Lt. Gen. John Allen, deputy commander of U.S. Central Command, would succeed Petraeus as head of the Afghan campaign.

Allen was a commander in Iraq’s western Anbar province at a crucial time when Sunni tribal leaders switched sides and began helping U.S. forces fight al Qaeda, a move that U.S. officials say helped turn the war.

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