Gen. David Petraeus is expected to leave his current job as commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan by this fall, and several government insiders say he's in the running to become the next director of the Central Intelligence Agency, according to NPR. The current CIA chief, Leon Panetta, is the lead candidate to replace Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who also intends to step down this year. NPR's sources say that Petraeus, who won fame and plaudits for his successful "surge" strategy in Iraq, would take the CIA job if it's offered. Would it be a good fit?
This makes perfect sense: Petraeus has "been in the service of the United States of America all of his life," says former Clinton administration official Ken Pollack, as quoted by Yahoo! News. "The CIA is a critical component of policy-making," so running it would be an ideal way for Petraeus to continue his "remarkable career in public service." And the CIA should be "thrilled to have him" — he's just what the agency needs right now.
"Petraeus-for-CIA buzz intensifies"
No, Petraeus can do better: This "seems like a poor fit in many ways," says Ed Morrissey in Hot Air. The White House would be better off if Petraeus kept his current post. And CIA director isn't the job it used to be. The spy chief used to report directly to the president, but since the 2004 restructuring of U.S. intelligence services, he reports to the director of national intelligence. Petraeus is no second banana.
"Petraeus to CIA?"
It'll be hard for Petraeus to find the right new job: There just aren't many military jobs left suiting a leader of Petraeus' stature, says Doug Mataconis at Outside the Beltway. He has reportedly soured on taking the top military post at NATO. And if he's really leaving Afghanistan, that's "a fairly strong signal" that President Obama really "is intent on winding down the U.S. presence" there. So what's left for America's most famous general?
"General Petraeus To CIA?"