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Obama announces national security team

January 10, 2009 01:11 IST

US President-elect Barack Obama [Images] has named Leon Panetta, a former White House Chief of Staff, to head the Central Intelligence Agency and retired admiral Dennis Blair as the director of the National Intelligence.

John Brenna, a former leader of the National Counter-terrorism Center, will be his Homeland Security Adviser and Deputy National Security Adviser for Counter-terrorism Serving, Obama announced. The outgoing DNI chief Mike McConnell has been nominated to his foreign intelligence advisory board.

"To have a successful and sustainable national security strategy, I have made clear that we will need to deploy and balance all elements of American power -- our military, diplomacy, homeland security, economic might, and moral suasion. Good intelligence work is necessary to support each of these endeavours," Obama said on the occasion.

Introducing his team at a press conference, Obama said: "I am confident that Blair and Panetta are the right leaders to advance the work of our intelligence communities. They are public servants with unquestioned integrity, broad experience, strong management skills, and the core pragmatism we need in dangerous times."

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