Katie Grant, 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today after President Obama named Leon Panetta as Secretary of Defense, General David Petraeus as Director of the CIA, General John Allen as Commander of US Forces in Afghanistan, and Ryan Crocker as Ambassador to Afghanistan:
“President Obama has nominated four experienced, capable individuals to serve on his national security team and I strongly support his choices. Secretary Bob Gates has led the Department of Defense with distinction, and we will miss his leadership, courage and professionalism. I am confident that Leon Panetta will do an excellent job as his successor. I have known and worked with Leon for over 30 years in a number of capacities. During his service in Congress, as Director of the Office of Management and Budget, as the White House Chief of Staff, and as CIA Director, Leon has served our nation proudly, and I know that he will work tirelessly to strengthen our national security and support our troops.
“The CIA will also have a respected leader in General Petraeus. He has had an excellent military career, most recently in Afghanistan. As head the CIA, General Petraeus brings distinguished military experience and knowledge that will be vital as we continue to confront terrorist threats across the globe.
“President Obama’s nominations of General John Allen as Commander of US Forces in Afghanistan and Ryan Crocker as Ambassador to Afghanistan round out a strong security team that will serve our nation well as we continue to address security challenges.”