Obama names former Clinton officials for Pentagon

WASHINGTON Thu Jan 8, 2009 3:13pm EST

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President-elect Barack Obama on Thursday named four former Clinton administration officials to top defense positions, including former Pentagon comptroller William Lynn as deputy defense secretary.

The four officials will form a senior policy team under Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who has agreed to stay on as Pentagon chief in the Obama administration.

Lynn, currently a senior executive with Raytheon Co, served as Pentagon comptroller from 1997 to 2001 and previously headed the Defense Department's Program Analysis and Evaluation office.

Obama also named Michele Flournoy, a former principal deputy assistant defense secretary, to become under secretary of defense for policy; and Robert Hale, former assistant secretary of the Air Force, as comptroller. Jeh Johnson, former Air Force general counsel, was named to become Defense Department general counsel.

"I am confident that these distinguished individuals have the expertise and commitment needed to help me implement a sustainable national security strategy," Obama said in a statement.

(Reporting by David Morgan, editing by Patricia Zengerle)

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