U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, released the following statement on the President's nomination of Ryan Crocker to serve as U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan, and announcement of other key national security personnel changes:
"Ambassador Crocker has the demonstrated commitment, skill, and diplomatic acumen to implement a civilian and diplomatic strategy that is smart enough and tough enough to defend our vital national security interests in Afghanistan. Working alongside Lt. General John Allen, who will take over as the top Commander in Afghanistan, Ambassador Crocker will provide leadership to help build upon the security gains we have made, and prevent Afghanistan from falling back into the hands of those who attacked us on September 11, 2001.
"Following his exemplary service to our nation in Iraq and Afghanistan, I am pleased that General Petraeus has agreed to continue his service in a new role as CIA Director. I also look forward to working with Leon Panetta, another dedicated public servant, in his new role as Secretary of Defense.
"I thank each of these individuals, as well as Secretary Gates and Ambassador Eikenberry, for their service to our nation."