President Bush introduced Robert Gates on Wednesday afternoon as his nominee to replace Donald Rumsfeld as secretary of defense, saying the country needs a “fresh perspective” on Iraq.
Gates, a former CIA chief, was a member of the Iraq Study Group, a bipartisan panel that is making recommendations to Bush on how to proceed in Iraq.
Gates traveled with the panel to Iraq earlier this year, an experience, Bush said, that will enable Gates to come up with “new ideas on how America can achieve our goals in Iraq.”
Gates, 63, said Wednesday he accepted the nomination because “the United States is at war” and the president called.
“I believe the outcome of these conflicts will shape our world for decades to come,” Gates said.
Bush announced Rumsfeld’s departure earlier Wednesday. more