News / USA

    Obama's New Security Team Filled With Mostly Familiar Faces

    U.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday announced major changes to his national security team, including the nomination of CIA director Leon Panetta to replace Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

    Here is a brief look at key members of the president's new team.

    Robert Gates

    Obama's New Security Team Filled With Mostly Familiar Faces
    Obama's New Security Team Filled With Mostly Familiar Faces

    Outgoing U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates is the only defense chief in U.S. history to be asked to remain in the post by a newly elected president.

    He was sworn in under President Barack Obama's predecessor, George W. Bush, in 2006.

    In the early 1990s, Gates served as the head of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency.  He is the only career officer in CIA history to rise from entry-level employee to director.  Gates joined the agency in 1966, spending nearly three decades as an intelligence professional.

    He served nearly nine years on the White House National Security Council, and was deputy national security adviser for President George H.W. Bush.

    Before becoming defense secretary, Gates was the president of one of the nation's largest universities, Texas A&M - home to the George Bush School of Government and Public Service.

    Leon Panetta

    Obama's New Security Team Filled With Mostly Familiar Faces
    Obama's New Security Team Filled With Mostly Familiar Faces

    President Obama's nominee for new U.S. defense secretary, Leon Panetta, has a long history in the U.S. government.

    Director of the Central Intelligence Agency since 2009, Panetta also served as Chief of Staff to President Bill Clinton in the 1990s, and before that headed the White House budget office under Mr. Clinton.

    The long-time Democrat was elected to his first of eight terms in the U.S. House of Representatives in 1976, representing a district in California.

    Following a stint as an Army intelligence officer, Panetta started out his political career working for Republicans, eventually becoming head of the Office for Civil Rights under President Richard Nixon.  He left the post because of a disagreement and switched to the Democratic Party in 1971.

    General David Petraeus

    Obama's New Security Team Filled With Mostly Familiar Faces
    Obama's New Security Team Filled With Mostly Familiar Faces

    President Obama's pick to head the CIA, General David Petraeus, has held leadership roles in the wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

    He became the commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan in July of last year, and previously headed U.S. Central Command for nearly two years, overseeing a region including Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and Yemen.

    Before that, General Petraeus commanded U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq, presiding over the 2007 surge in American troops. He is widely credited with turning around the Iraq war and pulling the country back from the brink of a full-fledged sectarian war.

    The four-star general also oversaw the development of the counterinsurgency manual for U.S. armed forces, which is the root of the Afghan war strategy.

    Ryan Crocker

    Obama's New Security Team Filled With Mostly Familiar Faces
    Obama's New Security Team Filled With Mostly Familiar Faces

    President Obama's choice to become the next U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, Ryan Crocker, is a veteran U.S. diplomat with extensive experience across the Middle East.

    He has served as a U.S. ambassador five previous times, starting in Lebanon in the early 1990s.  After that, he became the U.S. ambassador to Kuwait, followed by Syria and Pakistan, and from 2007 to 2009, Iraq.

    Crocker has also held the post of Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs.

    After joining the foreign service in 1971, Crocker completed assignments in Iran, Qatar, Iraq, Egypt and Washington.  He was assigned to the U.S. embassy in the Lebanese capital, Beirut, during the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982 and the bombings of the embassy and Marine barracks in 1983.

    In 2009, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian award.

    Lieutenant General John Allen

    Obama's New Security Team Filled With Mostly Familiar Faces
    Obama's New Security Team Filled With Mostly Familiar Faces

    The nominee to replace General Petraeus as Afghanistan commander, Lieutenant General John Allen, is a long-serving military commander and instructor, who has received a number of military honors.

    Allen is currently the deputy commander of U.S. Central Command, which covers a region including Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and Yemen.

    He was the first Marine Corps officer inducted as a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

    In 2002, he became the first Marine Corps officer to serve in the Naval Academy as the Commandant of Midshipmen.


    You May Like

    California Republicans Mull Choices in Presidential Race

    Ted Cruz tells state's Republican Convention delegates campaign will be 'battle on the ground, district by district by district,' ahead of June 7 primary

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, many Kurds are trying to escape turmoil by focusing on success of football team Amedspor

    South African Company Designs Unique Solar Cooker

    Two-man team of solar power technologists introduces Sol4, hot plate that heats up so fast it’s like cooking with gas or electricity

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora