Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday swore in David Petraeus as CIA director in a ceremony at the White House. Petraeus, who last week retired from the Army as commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, is the intelligence agency’s 20th director. He replaces Leon Panetta, who left the CIA to become Defense Secretary in July. “I wanted to join this agency for many of the same reasons that I joined the US Army 37 years ago—for the opportunity to serve with extraordinary people, to continue to contribute to critical missions, and to be able to further serve our great country,” stated Petraeus in a message sent to all CIA employees after his swearing-in. “I eagerly look forward to starting our work together, and to bringing our agency’s unique strengths to bear on the many foreign threats and opportunities our country faces.” (CIA release)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.