US Army general David Petraeus is set to be nominated as the new director of the CIA, with the current CIA director, Leon Panetta, taking over as Pentagon chief, FOX News Channel reported Wednesday.
A senior defense official told FOX that the White House is expected to announce the nominations for its new national security team over the next few days, adding that the announcements could occur as early as Thursday.
The official also said that the announcements would "almost certainly" see Petraeus move to the CIA and Panetta take over from US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.
"All indications are this is accurate," the official added.
The anticipated appointments follow speculation over Petraeus' future in recent weeks. Earlier this month, the US commander of international forces in Afghanistan admitted that he had held talks about future roles.
However, he steadfastly refused to be drawn on the question of taking over as CIA director. "I think it's probably not appropriate for me to comment on whatever might be considered at the end of the road. I've had discussions ... but it wouldn't be appropriate to comment," Petraeus said.
Petraeus will reportedly be replaced as the leading commander of military operations in Afghanistan by Lieutenant General John Allen, the current head of US Central Command.
Peter King (R-N.Y.), the Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, welcomed the planned nominations in a statement released Wednesday.
"I strongly support the President's planned nominations. Director Panetta has done an outstanding job at the CIA, and General Petraeus has distinguished himself as one of the great American military leaders," the statement read.
"Both men currently play integral roles in our Nation's war against al Qaeda and its affiliates and will be instrumental as we continue to combat the terrorist threat," the statement added.
FOX confirmed late Tuesday that top diplomat Ryan Crocker was set to become the new US ambassador to Afghanistan, replacing ambassador Karl Eikenberry in Kabul.
Crocker, 61, is currently Dean and Executive Professor at the George Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University.
He retired from the foreign service in April 2009 after serving as an ambassador to Iraq, Pakistan, Syria, Kuwait and Lebanon. He was sent to Afghanistan in January 2002 to reopen the American Embassy in Kabul.
Source: FOX News Channel
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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