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Bush, Rumsfeld Agree: ‘Timing Right for New Leadership at Pentagon’

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 8, 2006 – Calling Donald H. Rumsfeld “a superb leader during a time of change,” President Bush announced at a White House news conference today that he and Rumsfeld have agreed the time has come for a change in leadership at the Pentagon.

Bush said he will nominate Bob Gates, former director of central intelligence and current president of Texas A&M University, to succeed Rumsfeld as secretary of defense.

“Our military has experienced an enormous amount of change and reform during the last five years while fighting the war on terror, one of the most consequential wars in our nation’s history,” Bush said. “Don Rumsfeld has been a superb leader during a time of change, yet he also appreciates the value of bringing in a fresh perspective during this time of war.

“Don Rumsfeld is a patriot and has served our country with honor and distinction,” Bush continued. “He is a trusted advisor and a friend, and I’m deeply grateful for his service to our country.”

Rumsfeld became the youngest person to hold the top Pentagon post under President Gerald R. Ford in 1975. He has served in the post under President Bush since the current administration took office in January 2001.

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Donald H. Rumsfeld

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