Petraeus Confirmed as CIA Director

Posted June 30th, 2011 at 2:55 pm (UTC-5)
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The U.S. Senate has confirmed U.S. General David Petraeus as the new head of the Central Intelligence Agency.

The 58-year-old easily won approval Thursday, with a vote of 94 to 0.

At his nomination hearing last week, the four-star general said he supports U.S. President Barack Obama's decision for withdrawing American troops from Afghanistan, although it was a “more aggressive formulation” than he recommended to the president.

The hearing came one day after Mr. Obama announced plans to pull out 33,000 U.S. troops from Afghanistan by September 2012.

General Petraeus said he looks forward to working with the leaders of other intelligence agencies, as well as furthering the CIA's relationship with Congress. The general is to step down as commander in Afghanistan and retire from the military before his move to the CIA.

Congressional leaders had expressed confidence Petraeus would be confirmed.

He is succeeding Leon Panetta, who has been confirmed as the new U.S. defense secretary.

General Petraeus became the 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.