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Obama's Cabinet
Secretary of Defense - Robert Gates (Announced)
12.1.08, 03:08 PM CST
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‹‹ Secretary of State - Hillary Clinton (Announced) Attorney General - Eric Holder (Announced) ››

Robert Gates became the 22nd Secretary of Defense on December 18, 2006. He replaced the controversial Donald Rumsfeld, and received support from members of both parties with a unanimous confirmation in the Senate Armed Services Committee and a 95-2 vote in the Senate. When asked by Senator Carl Levin whether he believed the United States was winning the war in Iraq, Mr. Gates said he did not.

Prior to his appointment, Mr. Gates served as Interim Dean of the George Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M from 1999 to 2001 and became the university’s President in August, 2002. Mr. Gates participated as a member of the Iraq Study Group. He was Director of Central Intelligence from 1991 to 1993 and spent almost 27 years as an intelligence professional during which he served six presidents.

As Secretary of Defense, Mr. Gates presided over the fallout from the Walter Reed controversy in which the Washington Post reported of poor conditions and management at the Army Medical Center. Mr. Gates responded by firing Secretary of the Army Francis Harvey and later Army Surgeon General Kevin Kiley. Mr. Gates also reacted with a pair of firings in the aftermath of findings in June 2008 of mishandled nuclear weapons by the Air Force.

*Multiple media outlets are reporting that Mr. Gates has accepted President-Elect Obama's offer to stay on as Secretary of Defense.

‹‹ Secretary of State - Hillary Clinton (Announced) Attorney General - Eric Holder (Announced) ››