Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement today after President Obama announced key changes to his national security team, naming CIA Director Leon Panetta as the next Secretary of Defense; General David Petraeus as the new head of the CIA; Ambassador Ryan Crocker as our next ambassador to Kabul; and Lt. General John Allen as the commander of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan:
"In appointing experienced and committed public servants to key national security posts, President Obama has acted to strengthen our country's defenses and the safety of the American people.
"Director Panetta's experience in Congress, the White House, and the CIA provide him with the judgment and background to serve as a strong Secretary of Defense. General Petraeus' experience as a military strategist and battlefield commander will be central to his new role leading the collection, analysis, and dissemination of timely and reliable intelligence to keep our nation safe.
"Ambassador Crocker's long and distinguished role in diplomacy and foreign service -- with much of his time spent in the region -- will serve our country well in leading the civilian effort in Afghanistan essential to bringing our troops home. And Lt. General Allen's new role in Kabul will enhance our work to train the Afghan security forces to take responsibility for their country's security and military strategy.
"Congress will continue to perform its vital oversight duties and fulfill its responsibilities to our national defense. We look forward to working with President Obama and his entire team to promote, preserve, and protect the security of the American people."