Vice President Joe Biden swore in now-retired Gen. David Petraeus as director of the CIA in a private ceremony on Tuesday, officially marking the four-star general's transition into a career with a far lower profile than his battlefield commands in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Petraeus, whose latest post was commander of the U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan, retired from the Army last week after a 37-year military career. He was one of the architects of the 2007 "surge" in Iraq.
For the ceremony, Petraeus donned civilian clothes, a dark gray suit and maroon necktie.
Petraeus, who is credited with ushering in an era of intellectual warriors in the U.S. military, takes office just days before the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. “You led the 9/11 generation ... turned it into the greatest group of warriors this country has ever seen," Biden said when introducing Petraeus. "Duty, honor, and country ... they're the words that come to mind when I think of you," he said, according to pool reports.
Petraeus is no stranger to the CIA: During his time as commander in both Iraq and Afghanistan, he worked to improve the historically tense relationship between the intelligence agency and the military’s elite special-operations forces. Coordination between the two has been widely credited with enabling the successful covert U.S. raid that killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan. Petraeus takes over the helm of the CIA from Leon Panetta, who has already begun his new job as Defense secretary.
Petraeus's wife, Holly, attended the ceremony in the Roosevelt Room at the White House, along with Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan.
This article appears in the September 6, 2011, edition of National Journal Daily PM Update.