Obama to announce secretaries of state, defence nominees in two weeks

Obama to announce secretaries of state, defence nominees in two weeks

Washington: US President Barack Obama is likely to announce his nominees for secretaries of state and defence in the next two weeks, a senior administration official said.

Former Republican Senator Chuck Hagel is on the short list of possible candidates to be the chief of the Pentagon, Reuters reported.

The appointments are also likely to include a new CIA director.

An unnamed administration official told the news agency that Obama is still deliberating whether to unveil his team altogether or to name them one-by-one.

Other top contenders to replace Defense Secretary Leon Panetta are believed to include former senior Pentagon official Michele Flournoy, Deputy Defence Secretary Ashton Carter and Democratic Senator John Kerry.

Complicating matters, Obama is also deciding whether to nominate Kerry as secretary of state to replace Hillary Clinton, or to go with Susan Rice, US ambassador to the United Nations.

Obama, in an interview with Bloomberg TV on Tuesday, reiterated that Rice is “highly qualified” for the job, but said, “I haven’t made a decision about secretary of state.”

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