John Negroponte is leaving his job as national intelligence director to work under Condoleeza Rice, as deputy secretary of State. Associated Press reports that President Bush will nominate retired Vice Adm. Mike McConnell, with more than two decades in intelligence, to replace Negroponte. Meanwhile, at the Pentagon, the Washington Post reports that new Defense Secretary Robert Gates may tap retired Air Force Lt. Gen. James Clapper Jr. to fill the intelligence undersecretary post vacated by Stephen Cambone. Another long-time intel officer, Clapper last was head of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.
Americans’ trust and confidence in the U.S. military has declined precipitously in recent months, according to the results of a survey. Experts lay the blame on increasing political polarization and the fallout from this summer’s turbulent withdrawal from Afghanistan.