Gen. David Petraeus was sworn in Tuesday as director of the CIA, leaving behind a 37-year military career for the opportunity to lead the covert civilian war against al-Qaida.

Petraeus, 58, was sworn in by Vice President Joe Biden at the White House less than a week after having retired from the Army, and little more than a month after the Senate voted unanimously in favor of the general for the position.

Biden, who has not always seen eye to eye with Petraeus, said the approval process had been expedited “because there’s literally no time to waste. The president wants him on the job.” –BF

Agence France-Presse:

A voracious consumer of intelligence, Petraeus brings to his new job his experience as a commander who melded military and intelligence operations to an extraordinary degree in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

As CIA director, Petraeus’s responsibilities extend far beyond Al-Qaeda to some of the hardest and most complex targets facing US intelligence — North Korea, Iran and China among them.

Ambitious and supremely disciplined, Petraeus has sometimes irritated fellow commanders, earning the nickname “King David.” But his successes on the battlefield won him fame and the confidence of US presidents.

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