Washington, Jun 6 (DPA): US President Barack Obama nominated a retired Air Force general Saturday to serve as the nation's top intelligence official.
Obama selected James Clapper, 69, a retired general and currently the Pentagon's intelligence undersecretary, for the position of director of national intelligence, or DNI, calling him one "of our most respected intelligence" officials.
The DNI oversees and coordinates the activities of the 16 intelligence agencies, including the CIA. Clapper's nomination must be confirmed by the Senate, a process Obama said he hopes will go quickly.
Clapper will replace Dennis Blair, who resigned in May after coming under criticism for failing to detect the unsuccessful December 25 attempt to bomb a US airliner, and the botched car bomb plot in New York's Times Square May 1.
The DNI was created after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and later findings that the intelligence community was ineffective at sharing information between 16 different agencies.
Obama noted that it was a tough job as he announced the nomination. Clapper would be the fourth man to hold the job in the last five years.