Curious Development At CIA & DoD


If Drudge is to be believed (love the title by the way), there’s a “spook shuffle” being murmured about in the Intelligence and Defense Communities these days:

President Barack Obama plans to name CIA Director Leon Panetta as the next secretary of defense and move Gen. David Petraeus, now running the war in Afghanistan, into the CIA chief’s job in a major shuffle of the nation’s national security leadership, administration and other sources said Wednesday.

The changes would probably take effect this summer. Defense Secretary Robert Gates has already said he will leave this year, and the White House wants to schedule Senate confirmation hearings in the coming months.

All sources spoke on condition of anonymity because the changes haven’t been announced by the president.

We’re long overdue for Gates to move on; his damage is done… Panetta’s as well. Petraeus at Intelligence is a little more interesting. Is it a transfer based on failure? Is it one of reward for years of hard work and success… or at least having been able to do the best one can with several hands tied behind their backs?

Another possibility here would suggest that Petraeus is being groomed for CinC at some point down the road. Not so sure this president cares about anyone else’s career, but it’s a fair bet that “the system” takes care of its own, and once “IN” the system, it’s fairly difficult to “get out” of it.

In any of these scenarios, Petraeus at Intelligence can only be a good thing; someone with his street creds will certainly be able to bring a little “intelligence” into the Intelligence community, and getting Panetta into Gates’ seat can’t do any MORE harm than has already been done over at Defense.

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April 27, 2011 1:59 pm

Does Petraeus know who the Libyan rebels are? Thanks for putting this up, ‘Stack. Whatever the reasons O’s people are doing this, none of them have to do with what’s best for the country or who the proper people are for the positions. For my money, David Petraeus’ standing on the battlefield in Afghanistan and blaming a pastor in Florida for people in Afghanistan getting killed, whether civilians or US troops, is infinitely more cause for his dismissal than was Stanley McChrystal’s supposed offense. I don’t believe in putting in former campaign loyalists and strategists in sensitive US national security… Read more »

April 27, 2011 4:18 pm

I think the BC release was timed to take focus away from this announcement.

April 28, 2011 8:51 am

I’ve read that Petraeus being pulled out of Afghanistan in order to head the CIA is actually a demotion. Don’t know if that’s true, but it’s pretty clear the Afghan War isn’t going real well. It seems that the “winning the hearts and minds of the enemy” hasn’t been a winning strategy. It also isn’t a winning strategy to announce when you are leaving. I can see the new Afghan commander being set up to take the rap when everything falls apart over there. Obama refused to define what winning in Afghanistan meant. He really doesn’t want to.