Obama names new defense chief and CIA head

Updated: 2013-01-08 03:22


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WASHINGTON - US President Barack Obama on Monday nominated Chuck Hagel, a former Republican senator, as his next defense secretary and counterterrorism adviser John Brennan to head the CIA, urging the US Senate to confirm them quickly.

Hagel, a decorated Vietnam veteran, would replace Leon Panetta at the Pentagon. Critics have already launched attacks over Hagel's record on Israel and Iran.

Brennan is a CIA veteran who withdrew from consideration for the spy agency's top job in 2008 after questions were raised about his views on enhanced interrogation techniques used on terrorism suspects during the Bush administration.

He would succeed retired General David Petraeus, who resigned amid a scandal over an extramarital affair with his biographer.

Obama names new defense chief and CIA head

US President Barack Obama (C) announces his nominees for new US Secretary of Defense former Republican US Senator Chuck Hagel (L) and new CIA director White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan (R) at the White House in Washington January 7, 2013. [Photo/Agencies]