Senator Dan Coats (R-Ind.) issued the following statement today regarding President Obama's nomination of CIA Director Leon Panetta to replace Robert Gates as secretary of defense and General David Petraeus to replace Panetta at the CIA:
"Secretary Gates deserves our appreciation for a lifetime of service to our country. He has provided great leadership during a challenging time as we face conflicts around the globe.
"General David Petraeus is a true American hero who continues to step forward to serve our country. Petraeus has the knowledge, experience and expertise to lead the CIA. As a member of the Senate Select Intelligence Committee, I look forward to discussing this nomination with General Petraeus.
"I appreciate Leon Panetta's service as CIA Director and his commitment to keeping Americans safe. I look forward to hearing his thoughts on how the Department of Defense can best respond to an evolving threat environment while recognizing that we must carefully examine our nation's defense budget so that critical needs are met today and in the future."
"The president's nominations today, including Ryan Crocker as Ambassador to Afghanistan, are good choices to provide continuity and leadership in these critical areas of national security."