President George W Bush intends to appoint current US ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad as the country's ambassador to the United Nations to replace John Bolton who resigned following Democrats takeover of the Senate.
The moving of Khalilzad from Baghdad is part of a major revamping of civilian and military team in Iraq and efforts to show that changes are taking place as Bush finalises the new Iraq policy, administration officials told the New York Times.
They said Bush has decided to name Lt Gen David H Petraeus as the top American military commander in Iraq, part of a broad revamping of the military team that will carry out the administration's new Iraq strategy.
General Petraeus, who will replace Gen George W Casey Jr, the choice to succeed Gen John P Abizaid as the head of the Central Command is expected to be Adm William J Fallon, who is the top American military officer in the Pacific, officials said.
The changes are being made as the White House is considering an option to increase American combat power in Baghdad by five brigades as well as adding two battalions of reinforcements to the volatile province of Anbar in western Iraq, the Times said.
Bush, who yesterday said he would present details of his overall strategy for Iraq next week, and several top aides held a video teleconference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Kamal al-Maliki and his top deputies about plans to add forces in the capital and other matters.