By Karen Parrish
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, July 1, 2011 – The Senate yesterday confirmed Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, currently the commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, as the next director of the CIA.
Petraeus will replace Leon E. Panetta, former CIA director, who took office today as secretary of defense.
During his confirmation hearing June 23, Petraeus said some observers have questioned whether his previous involvement in Afghanistan and other endeavors will color the agency's analysis of those efforts.
“Let me reassure you on this issue,” he said. “Clearly I have views on the efforts in which I've been engaged. I've shared them in the past with the agency's analysts, and I'll do so in the future. However, if confirmed, when I am in the situation room with the president, I will strive to present the agency position. I will also remain keenly aware that I am the leader of an intelligence agency, not a policymaker.”
According to a spokesman for NATO’s International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, Petraeus will turn over command July 18. Marine Corps Lt. Gen. John R. Allen has been nominated for promotion to general and appointment as Petraeus’ successor.
Petraeus will retire from the Army on Aug. 31 and assume his new duties as central intelligence director Sept. 6, the spokesman said.