Obama Makes Nominations for Defense Secretary and CIA Director

Obama nominated Republican Chuck Hagel as his next defense secretary and counterterrorism adviser John Brennan to lead the CIA.

From left: Chuck Hagel, President Obama and John Brennan (Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

President Obama is expected to nominate Republican Chuck Hagel as his next defense secretary and counterterrorism adviser John Brennan as new CIA director on Monday.

Hagel will replace Leon Panetta at the Pentagon and John Brennan will take Gen. David Petraeus’ former seat. Petraeus resigned in November 2012 after news of an extramarital affair was revealed.

Observers find the choice of Hagel interesting because he has been critical of the size of the U.S. military, and as a senator from Nebraska, he voted against U.S. sanctions on Iran. Despite the criticism, the White House is standing by the expected nomination, hoping to confirm his seat through the Democratic-led Senate.

Brennan, who has served as Obama’s chief counterterrorism adviser since 2008, is noted for being part of the team that planned the raid to kill Osama bin Laden raid.

"John Brennan's career of service and extraordinary record has prepared him to be an outstanding director of the CIA, a White House official told Reuters. ... Brennan has the full trust and confidence of the president."

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