There have been trial balloons floating on both of these for a while so neither is really a surprise.
President Obama is expected this week to nominate Gen. David H. Petraeus to replace Leon Panetta as CIA director and to name Panetta as secretary of defense, U.S. officials said Wednesday, part of a long-anticipated shakeup of his national security team.
Obama's national security team has never been particularly impressive. Anytime Joe Biden gets a serious hearing, you have left the serious zone. There have been individuals who had strong skills, but there has never been the slightest sense that a coherent policy on any major issue or even in general was in play. Well aside from a combo security/diplomatic initiative to screw our friends and kow tow to our enemies. These latest moves seem designed to counter that impression, but I wonder if that is true.
The main things both Panetta and Petraeus have in common is they will be easily confirmable, Obama is comfortable with them and neither has any real experience germane to the jobs they are about to assume. Panetta is a career politician/bureaucrat whose main role at DoD will likely be as point man for the additional budget cuts Obama has said he wants. Petraeus has been a consumer of intelligence at a high level for a number of years, but has not served in roles where the mission was gathering it, analyzing it, and disseminating it. If Panetta can find some fraud, waste and abuse to cut out of the Penatagon budget more power to him, but it is more likely he wil be the President's hatchet man. And if Petraeus can improve relations between the CIA and the military great. Even better if he can help get them back into the human intelligence business, but the bureaucracy does not respond like a military command.
The other probable appointment of note is Ryan Crocker to Afghanistan as Ambassador. Hard to argue with this one at all; he proved himself in Iraq and has the tools and standing to make a difference. So, over all grades:
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Mr. Wolf has over 26 years in the Army, Army NG, and USAR. He’s Airborne with 5 years as an NCO, before becoming an officer. Mr. Wolf has had 4 company commands. Signal Corp is his basic branch, and Public Affairs is his functional area. He recently served 22 straight months in Kuwait and Iraq, in Intel, PA, and senior staff of MNF-I. Mr. Wolf is now an IT executive. He is currently working on a book on media and the Iraq war. Functional gearhead.
In Iraq, he received the moniker of Mr. Wolf after the Harvey Kietel character in Pulp Fiction, when "challenges" arose, they called on Mr. Wolf...
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Deebow is a Staff Sergeant and a Military Police Squad Leader in the Army National Guard. In a previous life, he served in the US Navy. He has over 19 years of experience in both the Maritime and Land Warfare; including deployments to Southwest Asia, Thailand, the South Pacific, South America and Egypt. He has served as a Military Police Team Leader and Protective Services Team Leader and he has served on assignments with the US State Department, US Air Force Security Police, US Army Criminal Investigation Division, and the US Drug Enforcement Administration. He recently spent time in Afghanistan working with, training and fighting alongside Afghan Soldiers and is now focused on putting his 4 year Political Science degree to work by writing about foreign policy, military security policy and politics.
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Twenty-three years of Active and Reserve service in the US Army in SF (18B), Infantry and SOF Signal jobs with operational deployments to Bosnia and Africa. Since retiring he's worked as Senior Defense Analyst on SOF and Irregular Warfare projects and currently ensconced in the emerging world of Cyberspace.
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Uber Pig was an Infantryman from late 1991 until early 1996, serving with Second Ranger Battalion, I Corps, and then 25th Infantry Division. At the time, the Army discriminated against enlisted soldiers who wanted use the "Green to Gold" program to become officers, so he left to attend Stanford University. There, he became expert in detecting, avoiding, and surviving L-shaped ambushes, before dropping out to be as entrepreneurial as he could be. He is now the founder of a software startup serving the insurance and construction industries, and splits time between Lake Tahoe, Boonville, and San Francisco, CA.
Uber Pig writes for Blackfive a) because he's the proud brother of an enlisted Civil Affairs Reservist who currently serves in Iraq, b) because he looks unkindly on people who make it harder for the military in general, and for his brother in particular, to succeed at their missions and come home in victory, and c) because the Blackfive readers and commenters help keep him sane.
COB6 spent 24 years in the active duty Army that included 5 combat tours with service in the 1st Ranger Battalion and 1st Special Forces Group . COB6 was enlisted (E-7) and took the OCS route to a commission. COB6 retired a few years back as a field grade Infantry officer.
Currently COB6 has a son in the 82nd Airborne that just returned from his third tour and has a newly commissioned daughter in the 4th Infantry Division.