WASHINGTON (Agencies) - The US Senate on Thursday voted overwhelmingly to confirm General David Petraeus to be the new director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Petraeus, commander of US forces in Afghanistan, was nominated by President Barack Obama to replace Leon Panetta, who is leaving the CIA to become Pentagon chief. Petraeus is expected to start his new job in September. Earlier, at his nomination hearing, the four-star general said he supports US President Barack Obama's decision for withdrawing American troops from Afghanistan, although it was a "more aggressive formulation" than he recommended to the president. His hearing last week came one day after Obama announced plans to pull out 33,000 US troops from Afghanistan by September 2012. General Petraeus said he looks forward to working with the leaders of other intelligence agencies, as well as furthering the CIA's relationship with Congress. Congressional leaders have expressed confidence Petraeus will be confirmed.He is to succeed Leon Panetta, who was confirmed as US defense secretary. The general is to step down as commander in Afghanistan and retire from the military before his expected move to the CIA. General Petraeus became the commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan a year ago. Before that, he headed the US Central Command for nearly two years, overseeing a region including Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and Yemen. He also led US and coalition forces in Iraq, presiding over the 2007 surge in American troops. He is widely credited with turning around the Iraq war and pulling the country back from the brink of a full-fledged sectarian conflict.