CBS News' David Martin reported that Obama planned to tap Blair back in November. This news makes the choice official.
Blair was the commander of the U.S. Pacific Command during the Clinton administration and during the Sept. 11 attacks, and served in the Navy for 34 years.
He is a workaholic, an expert on Asia, and "is considered adept at running sprawling organizations, seemingly a prerequisite for heading an office that is still grappling with the task of fusing 16 spy agencies," according to the New York Times.
Here, via the Times, is a snippet of Blair's congressional testimony from Nov. 7, 2007: "The use of large-scale military force in volatile regions of underdeveloped countries is difficult to do right, has major unintended consequences and rarely turns out to be quick, effective, controlled and short lived."