Leon Panetta confirmed by Senate as new Pentagon chief

Leon Panetta Mr Panetta was head of the CIA during the operation that led to the killing of Osama Bin Laden

Related Stories

The US Senate has voted unanimously to approve the nomination of CIA chief Leon Panetta to succeed Robert Gates as US defence secretary.

Lawmakers voted 100-0 in favour of Mr Panetta, 72, who was the head of the CIA during the operation that led to the killing of Osama Bin Laden.

One of Mr Panetta's first jobs will be to oversee the start of the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan.

Mr Gates is retiring on 30 June after close to five years in the position.

Mr Panetta is expected to replace Mr Gates on 1 July, with General David Petraeus, the currently US commander in Afghanistan, taking over as CIA chief.

Mr Panetta, a Democrat from California, served as chief of staff to President Bill Clinton between 1994 and 1997 and took over at the CIA in February 2009.

On Wednesday, President Barack Obama is to deliver his plans for the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan.

More on This Story

Related Stories

More US & Canada stories



  • Elderly manSuicide decline

    The number of old people killing themselves has fallen. Why?

  • Petrol pumpPumping up

    Why are petrol prices rising again?

  • Image of George from Tube CrushTube crush

    How London's male commuters set Chinese hearts racing

  • TricycleTreasure trove

    The lost property shop stuffed with diamonds, bikes... and a leg

  • Boris Nemtsov'I loved Nemtsov'

    A murder in an atmosphere of hatred and intolerance

Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.