Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, will be named to replace Leon Panetta as CIA director, a senior defense official said. (Panetta is being tapped to succeed Robert Gates as U.S. defense secretary, officials said Wednesday.)
Petraeus took over the command in Afghanistan in summer 2010 after Gen. Stanley McChrystal was relieved of his duties. McChrystal and his staff were quoted in a Rolling Stone magazine article criticizing and mocking key administration officials.
Petraeus took the highly unusual step of publicly acknowledging that he might be in contention for a presidential appointment. "It's probably not appropriate for me to comment on whatever might be considered down the road," he told reporters in Kabul this month when asked about the possible CIA nomination.
"I've had discussions, but again, it wouldn't be appropriate to comment."
From November 2010: Petraeus on Afghanistan, Iran, Taliban strategy
From June 2010: Peter Bergen on Petraeus, the Ph.D. warrior