President Obama is expected this week to nominate Gen. David H. Petraeus to replace Leon Panetta as CIA director and to name Panetta as secretary of defense, U.S. officials said Wednesday, part of a long-anticipated shakeup of his national security team.
Petraeus, currently commander of the U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan, is expected to be in Washington this week, said an official, who insisted on anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter. The last military general to serve as CIA director was Michael Hayden, who led the agency from 2006 to 2009.
Panetta would replace Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, who has said he plans to step down this year. The last time the head of the CIA left that position to become secretary of defense was 40 years ago, when Director James Schlesinger moved to the Pentagon. Panetta, 72, would be the oldest incoming secretary of defense.
Obama is also expected to announce a new ambassador to Afghanistan, according to administration officials familiar with internal deliberations. Ryan C. Crocker, a five-time ambassador who retired in 2009 after wartime service in Iraq, is likely to be named to that position, officials said.