Leon Panetta & David Petraeus to Lead National Security Teams

Apr 27, 2011, 07:55 by David Hope

Leon Panetta and David Petraeus appear to be on the move as
changes to President Obama's national security teams are expected to be announced, administration officials said.

The officials said as many as four appointments could be announced Thursday, possibly including a successor to Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who announced last year he was retiring, The Washington Post reported Wednesday.

Officials at the Pentagon and elsewhere in the administration said CIA Director Leon Panetta remained the leading candidate to replace Gates at Defense.

Administration officials said Ryan C. Crocker, a five-time ambassador who retired in 2009 after being the lead U.S. diplomat in Iraq, likely would be tapped to take over the U.S. Embassy in Kabul.

U.S. Army Gen. David Petraeus, whose tenure as commander of U.S.-led coalition forces in Afghanistan ends in a few months, has emerged as a contender for the CIA director's post, sources told the Post. Marine Lt. Gen. John R. Allen, deputy of the U.S. Central Command, likely would succeed Petraeus as the top troop commander in Afghanistan, officials said.

Officials said they didn't expect any announcement this week regarding Adm. Mike Mullen's position as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. His second two-year term ends in September.

A White House spokesman declined the Post's request for comment on what he called "personnel" matters. Congressional aides said the administration has not relayed any decisions to national security-related committees.

Source: UPI