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'Rumsfeld changed to bring fresh view on Iraq'

india Updated: Nov 09, 2006 13:42 IST
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Conceding that the Iraq issue played a major role in the Congresssional polls, US President George W Bush has said he changed Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to bring a "fresh perspective" since "Iraq is not working well enough".

"There were different factors that determined the outcome of different races, but no question, Iraq was on people's minds...I am making a change at the secretary of defense to bring a fresh perspective as to how to achieve something I think most Americans wants, which is a victory," Bush said.

Rumsfeld would have left the Pentagon after the Congressional elections and he decided to accept the resignation after a meeting with him on Wednesday, Bush told reporters while announcing his decision to appoint former CIA Director Robert Gates to replace Rumsfeld.

"I have been talking with Rumsfeld over a period of time about fresh perspective. He likes to call it "fresh eyes." He, himself, understands that Iraq is not working well enough, fast enough," the US President said.

Bush said he and Rumsfeld were constantly assessing whether they had the right people in the right place with the right strategy.

"And so he and I both agreed in our meeting that it was appropriate that I accept his resignation. And so, the decision was made -- actually, I thought we were going to do fine on Wednesday. Shows what I know. But I thought we were going to be fine in the election" Bush said adding "...Win or lose, Gates was going to become the nominee".

Bush said that he had not fully consulted with Gates on his new assignment in time to make any earlier announcement.