The White House is planning to shuffle the ranks of its top National Security advisers, multiple news outlets confirm. In a long rumored move, Gen. David Petraeus, the top commander in Afghanistan, will be nominated to replace Leon Panetta as CIA Director. Panetta, in turn, is set to succeed the outgoing current Defense Secretary Robert Gates. Succeeding Petraeus in Afghanistan will be Lt. Gen. John Allen, who's currently the deputy commander of U.S. Central Command in Florida.
The early word on the reasoning behind the nominations is that the White House wanted Petraeus as CIA Director in order to "ensure he would not be tapped by Republicans to challenge Obama" in a presidential bid. Officials explained to the Wall Street Journal that the choice of Panetta as Secretary of Defense was made, in part, by his experience with "working with budgets at the intelligence agency."
National Journal notes that a White House official has said that Sen. John McCain, a Petraeus supporter, has been "privately lobbied" to support the White House nominees. All the changes, according to the Associated Press, will most likely take effect in the summer.