News / USA

Obama's New Security Team Filled With Mostly Familiar Faces

TEXT SIZE - +

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

Photogallery Pope's Easter Prayer: Peace in Ukraine, Syria

Pontiff also calls for end to terrorist acts in Nigeria, violence in Iraq, and success in peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians More

Abdullah Holds Lead in Afghan Presidential Election

Country's Election Commission says that with half of the ballots counted, former FM remains in the lead with 44 percent of the vote More

Russia-Ukraine Crisis Could Trigger Cyber War

As tensions between Kyiv and Moscow escalate, so too has frequency of online attacks targeting government, news and financial sites More

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.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid