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Senate confirms David Petraeus as CIA director

June 30, 2011|By Kathleen Hennessey
  • Army Gen. David Petraeus, shown here testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee, was unanimously confirmed by the Senate as CIA director.
Army Gen. David Petraeus, shown here testifying before the Senate Intelligence… (Alex Wong / Getty Images )

The Senate unanimously confirmed Gen. David. H. Petraeus as director of the Central Intelligence Agency, turning over the nation’s intelligence operations to the man credited with turning back insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The nomination of Petraeus, the top commander of the war effort in Afghanistan, was approved by a 94-0 vote, in a body that at times has been divided by his strategies.

But just a week after the president announced a schedule for troop withdrawals in Afghanistan and credited Petraeus’ surge strategy for growing stability in the country, the four-star general found no resistance.

“His military service will come in handy. I think his analytical skills and ability will come in handy. He is the right man for the job,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), chairman of the Intelligence Committee, said before the vote.

Petraeus will replace outgoing director Leon Panetta, whose appointment as secretary of Defense sailed through the Senate last week. Petraeus is slated to retire from his current post in late July and take over at the CIA after a transition period, Feinstein said.

Petraeus is a West Point graduate who holds a doctorate in international relations from Princeton University. He led the Iraq war effort during the troop surge, a move opposed by many anti-war Democrats. He later served as commander of the Central Command before taking over the Afghanistan mission last summer.

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