April 5, 2011
This summer it will be musical chairs among President Barack Obama’s national security team. Leon Panetta, the CIA Director, is widely tipped to take over from Bob Gates as Pentagon chief. General David Petraeus, who is said to be exhausted and eager to leave Afghanistan, is being tipped by NPR as a serious contender for Panetta’s job.
According to Tom Ricks Lieutenant General John Allen of the US Marine Corps, a Gertrude Bell aficionado, will take over from Petraeus as ISAF commander in Kabul.
It wouldn’t be unusual for a military officer to take over at Langley but Petraeus – known to some as King David – has no specialist intelligence background, though he’s certainly spent plenty of time as an intelligence consumer.