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Rumsfeld resigns after Republicans defeat


WASHINGTON DC (BBC) – The resignation of the US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld shows how much the Bush administration is in disarray about Iraq.

The president made it quite clear at a news conference after the election that he had decided beforehand that a “fresh perspective” was needed at the Pentagon.{{more}}

This means that, win or lose the election, Mr Bush had decided that things were going badly enough to remove one of the architects of the war.

In fact, when Mr Bush told reporters last week that Mr Rumsfeld would be staying on, he had already spoken to Mr Rumsfeld about leaving. He said to the news conference that “win or lose, Bob Gates was going to become the nominee.”

Whether Robert Gates, an ex CIA director, is the kind of man to provide much of a fresh perspective remains to be seen. Until now he has always been an establishment figure. But he seems to be about to be one of the pegs on which new hopes will be hung.

The departure of Donald Rumsfeld is a major moment in the history of the Bush administration and the war in Iraq.

His resignation is a sign and an admission that the policy in Iraq has not worked, so far.

Bush’s Republican Party lost control of the House of Representatives Tuesday.

At press time Wednesday night, the balance of power of the US Senate now depends on the state of Virginia.