White House Shuffles Its Leaders on Iraq, Security President Bush says it is "vital" that Congress quickly confirm the changes he has made to his national security team. With new commanders and new policies in the works for Iraq, the White House seems to be clearing the decks at home as well, with a number of top-level personnel changes.

White House Shuffles Its Leaders on Iraq, Security

White House Shuffles Its Leaders on Iraq, Security

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Musical Chairs: Mike McConnell (right), is to become director of National Intelligence. The job is being vacated by John Negroponte (center) who is leaving to become Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's deputy. Jay L. Clendenin/Getty Images hide caption

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Jay L. Clendenin/Getty Images

President Bush says it is "vital" that Congress quickly confirm the changes he has made to his national security team. John Negroponte is stepping aside as intelligence chief in order to take the No. 2 position at the State Department.

The president has nominated retired Vice Adm. Mike McConnell to replace Negroponte as the nation's spy chief.

With new commanders and new policies in the works for Iraq, the White House seems to be clearing the decks at home as well, with a number of top-level personnel changes, from a new director of national intelligence and a new U.N. ambassador to a new Iraq ambassador and a new second-in-command at the State Department.

In a shift at U.S. Central Command, the regional command base for operations that include Iraq and Afghanistan, President Bush has named Adm. William Fallon to replace the retiring Gen. John Abizaid.

The White House also says that it has found a replacement for John Bolton, whose recess-appointment to the post of U.N. ambassador has expired. President Bush is nominating Zalmay Khalilzad, the U.S. envoy to Iraq, for the post.

The personnel shifts even include the president's lawyer: Harriet Miers, who had a short-lived bid for the Supreme Court, is also being replaced.

Michele Norris talks with NPR's David Greene.