ABC News' Mary Bruce (@marykbruce) reports:
Today the president will meet with the newest members of his national security team.
After bidding farewell to outgoing Defense Secretary Robert Gates last week and presenting him with the Medal of Freedom, the president and vice president will meet privately today with his successor Leon Panetta.
Panetta, the former head of the CIA, was sworn in Friday as Obama’s second defense secretary, vowing to preserve the power of the U.S. military despite budget cuts and defeat al Qaeda.
The president will also meet this morning with Ryan Crocker, the new U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan, and Lieutenant General John Allen, who is poised to take command of Western forces in Afghanistan and carry out the president’s order to begin the withdrawal of U.S. troops.