In another solid endorsement of President Obama’s new national-security team, the Senate on Thursday voted 94-0 to approve Gen. David Petraeus to be the next director of the CIA.
The Afghan war commander will take over the agency from Leon Panetta, who starts his new job as defense secretary on Friday. But Petraeus will remain in Afghanistan for the next several weeks, with plans to arrive at the CIA’s headquarters in Langley, Va., in September.
Petraeus, one of the country’s best known and most respected generals, is no stranger to the CIA. During his time as commander in Iraq and Afghanistan, he helped improve the historically tense relationship between the intelligence agency and the military’s elite special operations forces.
The two now work together closely in both countries to hunt wanted militants, and the close coordination has been widely credited with enabling the successful Navy SEAL raid into Pakistan that killed Osama bin Laden.
During his confirmation hearing, Petraeus said he would continue to support cooperation between the CIA and the military.
In a written statement submitted to the Senate Intelligence Committee, Petraeus cited “important progress against al-Qaida in recent months” and promised to “maintain the relentless pressure that has enabled such progress.”