Wow, that didn’t take long. Just hours after a sweeping Democrat victory in the midterm elections, President Bush announced that his Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld will step down.
According to Bloomberg, former Central Intelligence Agency Director Robert M. Gates will replace Rumsfeld at the Pentagon. Gates was head of the U.S. spy agency under Bush’s father, former President George H.W. Bush.
Democrats were quick today to call the election a mandate to change the U.S. course in Iraq.
“Nowhere was the call for a new direction more clear from the American people than in the war in Iraq,” House Majority Leader-to-be Nancy Pelosi said today. “We know that stay-the-course is not working, has not made our country safer, it has not honored our commitment to our troops and it has not brought stability to the region. We must not continue on this catastrophic path.”
The death toll of U.S. military personnel in Iraq since the March 2003 invasion stood at 2,836 as of today, and more than 21,572 have been wounded, according to Pentagon figures.