The Senate on Thursday voted overwhelmingly in favor of confirming Army Gen. David Petraeus as the next CIA Director. Senators approved his nomination by a vote of 94 to 0, reported AFP. Petraeus has been the top US general in Afghanistan since July 2010. He is retiring from the Army and will take over at the CIA as a civilian. He will replace Leon Panetta, who is scheduled to be sworn in as the new Defense Secretary Friday at the Pentagon. The full Senate’s vote came two days after the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence unanimously approved Petraeus’ nomination. Several years back, Petraeus led coalition forces in Iraq during the surge of US forces there that turned the tide of that conflict in favor of the Iraqi government and coalition and against anti-government insurgents. (See also Los Angeles Times report.)
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.