Could Pentagon’s Vickers Be Next CIA Director?

Could Pentagon intel czar Michael Vickers be the next CIA director? One expert says Vickers likely is on the shortlist. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Guessing whom a president will pick for top executive branch jobs is Washington’s favorite parlor game. It’s cliche, but true.

And recently re-elected President Barack Obama soon will have to fill a slew of Cabinet and other high-level slots, including CIA director. For about a week the nation obsessed over the extramarital affair that brought down former top spy David Petraeus, the decorated former Army four-star general.

Eli Sugarman, a fellow with the Truman National Security Project, has penned a piece that sums up the conventional wisdom about who’s on the CIA director short list. Sugarman’s betting the job will go to one of four longtime Washington veterans: Michael Morrell, the acting CIA director who was Petraeus’ deputy; John Brennan, the White House’s deputy national security advisor for homeland security and counterterrorism; Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence Michael Vickers; and former House Intelligence Committee member Jane Harman, D-Calif.

After the jump is a quick summary of what makes each a valid candidate, according to Sugarman.

Morrell: “[He] knows the CIA well and has worked directly with previous CIA directors and presidents alike. He also played a key role in Obama’s intelligence successes to date, such as the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.”

Brennan: “He directs U.S. counterterrorism policies, including the drone campaign and hunt for senior Al Qaeda operatives, from his White House office.”

Vickers: “He is a former Army special forces officer and CIA operations officer with several decades of experience in intelligence circles.”

Harman: “During her 18-year career in Congress, Harman served on the House Armed Services Committee, Intelligence Committee, and Homeland Security Committee and amassed extensive knowledge and experience in national security matters.”

John T. Bennett

John T. Bennett

Bennett is the Editor of Defense News' CongressWatch channel. He has a Masters degree in Global Security Studies from Johns Hopkins University.
John T. Bennett