The Director of the CIA, David Petraeus, reigned this week after admitting that he engaged in an extramarital affair. Petraeus met with President Obama on Thursday and asked for permission to resign from his position due to personal reasons, specifically his poor judgment. Obama accepted the resignation and went on to praise Petraeus for his work at the CIA.
Petraeus’ career as an extensively respected scholar and brilliant military leader has come to an end. Petraeus led the U.S. in the war in Iraq, and also led the U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan. Petraeus was admired to such an extent that his name had circulated as a possible Republican presidential nominee before Obama appointed him as the Director of the CIA.
Petraeus held his position in the CIA for only fourteen months, and his resignation has been accompanied by threats of a period of instability at the CIA, which is currently struggling with a leveling off in its budget after a decade of steady increases. The CIA has also been criticized recently with questions regarding its performance prior to the attack that led to the death of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens. Petraeus recently returned from Libya and was scheduled to testify about the Benghazi events next week.
Those who worked closely with Petraeus were stunned by his resignation. Senator Dianne Feinstein, a democrat and the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, stated, “I wish President Obama had not accepted this resignation, but I understand and respect the decision.”
While Petraeus did not violate any CIA regulation by engaging in his extra-marital affair, do you think it was the right move for him to resign from his position? Could this lack of trustworthiness be classified as a security problem due to Petraeus’ high level of clearance in the U.S. government? This resignation leaves another open spot (Clinton and Panetta are expected to leave) in President Obama’s national security team. What effects if any could this decision have relating to U.S. foreign affairs in Libya, the Middle East, and the rest of the world? President Obama has stated that he is confident that the CIA will continue to accomplish its objectives efficiently, but others feel that the loss of Petraeus could be devastating.
Source: Chicago Tribune