The nomination of Petraeus doesn't change much; it merely reflects how Washington is run. That George Bush's favorite war-commanding General -- who advocated for and oversaw the Surge in Iraq -- is also Barack Obama's favorite war-commanding General, and that Obama is now appointing him to run a nominally civilian agency that has been converted into an "increasingly militarized" arm of the American war-fighting state, says all one needs to know about the fully bipartisan militarization of American policy. There's little functional difference between running America's multiple wars as a General and running them as CIA Director because American institutions in the National Security State are all devoted to the same overarching cause: Endless War.I think that the appointment of Gen. Petraeus as CIA director is further evidence of imperial influences exerting more control of the US government and its Empire.
In contrast to an intelligence operation, the CIA has, because of its secretive nature, always functioned primarily as a means of using military force to enforce the imperial policies of the ruling class. It was always employed whenever such policies and actions were illegal, or were immoral and could not be justified to the American public, and/or likely would not be sanctioned by official government institutions.
The fact that this appointment has raised so little controversy is because the US ruling class, more than ever, prefers the use of force without having to cater to public opinion or go through the bother of getting government approval in conducting foreign policy. I think that this is more evidence that the governing capitalist class has shifted further toward a fascist style of rule.