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Obama to Nominate Intelligence and Defense Chiefs

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Washington – US President Barack Obama is to nominate John Brennan as the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, White House officials have said. If confirmed, Mr Brennan will replace Gen David Petraeus, who resigned last year after admitting to an affair. Chuck Hagel is to be put forward as the president’s next defence secretary, replacing Leon Panetta.

Both appointments are expected to be formally announced later on Monday and must be confirmed by the Senate. Mr Brennan, a CIA veteran, is currently Mr Obama’s chief counter-terrorism adviser. He was heavily involved in the planning of the 2011 raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

The US President is also to pick a maverick former Republican senator as defence secretary later, amid a political backlash over the nomination. Chuck Hagel would replace Leon Panetta at the Pentagon, but Mr Hagel’s fellow Republicans have voiced criticism over the Nebraskan’s views towards Israel. White House officials also say Mr Obama will pick John Brennan as director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Both appointments must be confirmed by the Senate. (BBC)

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