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McConnell Statement on National Security Appointments


Location: Louisville, KY

U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell issued the following statement Thursday regarding the President's selection of General Petraeus to serve as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency and Leon Panetta as Secretary of Defense:

"In the coming years our Nation faces myriad challenges: the ongoing threat posed by al Qaeda and associate terrorist groups; the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; instability in Pakistan and the presence of terrorist groups in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas; the growth of China's military; the determined efforts of the regimes in North Korea and Iran to threaten our allies and partners; and a national debt that weakens our economic and military strength. In preparing to face these challenges the President is to be commended for choosing competence and continuity in asking General Petraeus to serve as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency and Leon Panetta as Secretary of Defense. I have valued working with both of these leaders.

"General Petraeus has spent most of his life in service to our country. I have known him since his days as commander of the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, and his strategic perspective, familiarity with the terrorist threat, leadership and command experience will serve him well as Director of the world's finest intelligence service.

"Leon Panetta has worked closely with the Intelligence oversight committees and congressional leadership as Director of the CIA and has been a true partner with the Congress. As our country addresses a pernicious debt that poses a threat to our national security, our military force structure and strategy must be reformed and realigned, not simply eroded. The President is fortunate to be able to call upon Director Panetta to meet this challenge. And I'm confident he'll have an opportunity to explain his approach during what is certain to be a serious and substantial confirmation process."

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