Petraeus Confirmed as CIA Director

Posted June 30th, 2011 at 8:30 pm (UTC-5)
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The U.S. Senate has confirmed General David Petraeus as the new head of the Central Intelligence Agency.

The four-star general easily won approval Thursday, on a vote of 94 to 0.

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein says General Petraeus is the right man for the job, noting his military service and analytical skills will come in handy.

Feinstein says Petraeus will lead the CIA at a dangerous time, with wars winding down in Afghanistan and Iraq, a military operation in Libya, and nuclear standoffs involving Iran and North Korea.

At his nomination hearing last week, General Petraeus said he supports President Barack Obama's decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan, although it was a “more aggressive” plan than he recommended to the president.

Mr. Obama has announced plans to pull 33,000 U.S. troops out of Afghanistan by September 2012.

General Petraeus will step down as commander in Afghanistan and retire from the military before his move to the CIA.

Petraeus said he looks forward to working with leaders of other intelligence agencies, as well as furthering the CIA's relationship with Congress. He is succeeding Leon Panetta, who has been confirmed as the new U.S. defense secretary.

General Petraeus became commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan a year ago. Before that, he headed the U.S. Central Command for nearly two years, overseeing a region including Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and Yemen.

He also led U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq, presiding over the 2007 surge in American troops. He is widely credited with turning around the Iraq war and pulling the country back from the brink of a full-fledged sectarian conflict.