Rumsfeld out, Gates in, Drezner happy

rummy.jpg If this AP report is correct, then the midterms have claimed another big loser: Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, architect of an unpopular war in Iraq, intends to resign after six stormy years at the Pentagon, Republican officials said Wednesday. Officials said Robert Gates, former head of the CIA, would replace Rumsfeld. The development ...

By , a professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.
590154_1823383683_rummy2.jpg
590154_1823383683_rummy2.jpg

If this AP report is correct, then the midterms have claimed another big loser: Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, architect of an unpopular war in Iraq, intends to resign after six stormy years at the Pentagon, Republican officials said Wednesday. Officials said Robert Gates, former head of the CIA, would replace Rumsfeld. The development occurred one day after congressional elections that cost Republicans control of the House of Representatives, and possibly the Senate as well. Surveys of voters at polling places said opposition to the war was a significant contributor to the Democratic Party's victory. President George W. Bush was expected to announce Rumsfeld's departure and Gates' nomination at a news conference. Administration officials notified congressional officials in advance.If true, the news will provoke a triple "yee-haw!" from the hardworking staff here at danieldrezner.com. [Why three yells?--ed.] First, this blog has wanted Rummy to retire for quite some time. Second, Gates is a member in good standing of the Bush 41 crowd -- i.e., he's, you know, competent. Third, if it is Gates, this might reduce some of the paranoia about Joe Lieberman-replacing-Rumsfeld-and-then-being-replaced-by-a-Republican scenario that's been discussed in some parts of the blogosphere. This also kills the Santorum-for-DoD campaign just after it starts, by the way. UPDATE: It's official! Yee-haw!! Rich Lowry makes an interesting point over at The Corner: The public probably wanted Bush to reach out to and listen more to critics. They wanted him to break-out of the "stay the course" stalemate in his Iraq policy, which had been embodied by Rumsfeld. They wanted him to acknowledge, really acknowledge in a serious way, their deep disatisfaction with the course of things in Iraq. And lo and behold, about 18 hours after the election, he is doing all of things. American democracy is a marvelous thing.ANOTHER UPDATE: In what I believe is the fifth sign of the coming apocalypse, the Rumsfeld resignation story was apparently broken by Comedy Central's Indecider blog.

rummy.jpg

rummy.jpg

If this AP report is correct, then the midterms have claimed another big loser:

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, architect of an unpopular war in Iraq, intends to resign after six stormy years at the Pentagon, Republican officials said Wednesday. Officials said Robert Gates, former head of the CIA, would replace Rumsfeld. The development occurred one day after congressional elections that cost Republicans control of the House of Representatives, and possibly the Senate as well. Surveys of voters at polling places said opposition to the war was a significant contributor to the Democratic Party’s victory. President George W. Bush was expected to announce Rumsfeld’s departure and Gates’ nomination at a news conference. Administration officials notified congressional officials in advance.

If true, the news will provoke a triple “yee-haw!” from the hardworking staff here at danieldrezner.com. [Why three yells?–ed.] First, this blog has wanted Rummy to retire for quite some time. Second, Gates is a member in good standing of the Bush 41 crowd — i.e., he’s, you know, competent. Third, if it is Gates, this might reduce some of the paranoia about Joe Lieberman-replacing-Rumsfeld-and-then-being-replaced-by-a-Republican scenario that’s been discussed in some parts of the blogosphere. This also kills the Santorum-for-DoD campaign just after it starts, by the way. UPDATE: It’s official! Yee-haw!! Rich Lowry makes an interesting point over at The Corner:

The public probably wanted Bush to reach out to and listen more to critics. They wanted him to break-out of the “stay the course” stalemate in his Iraq policy, which had been embodied by Rumsfeld. They wanted him to acknowledge, really acknowledge in a serious way, their deep disatisfaction with the course of things in Iraq. And lo and behold, about 18 hours after the election, he is doing all of things. American democracy is a marvelous thing.

ANOTHER UPDATE: In what I believe is the fifth sign of the coming apocalypse, the Rumsfeld resignation story was apparently broken by Comedy Central’s Indecider blog.

Daniel W. Drezner is a professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, where he is the co-director of the Russia and Eurasia Program. Twitter: @dandrezner

More from Foreign Policy

A Panzerhaubitze 2000 tank howitzer fires during a mission in Ukraine’s Donetsk region.
A Panzerhaubitze 2000 tank howitzer fires during a mission in Ukraine’s Donetsk region.

Lessons for the Next War

Twelve experts weigh in on how to prevent, deter, and—if necessary—fight the next conflict.

An illustration showing a torn Russian flag and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
An illustration showing a torn Russian flag and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

It’s High Time to Prepare for Russia’s Collapse

Not planning for the possibility of disintegration betrays a dangerous lack of imagination.

An unexploded tail section of a cluster bomb is seen in Ukraine.
An unexploded tail section of a cluster bomb is seen in Ukraine.

Turkey Is Sending Cold War-Era Cluster Bombs to Ukraine

The artillery-fired cluster munitions could be lethal to Russian troops—and Ukrainian civilians.

A joint session of Congress meets to count the Electoral College vote from the 2008 presidential election the House Chamber in the U.S. Capitol  January 8, 2009 in Washington.
A joint session of Congress meets to count the Electoral College vote from the 2008 presidential election the House Chamber in the U.S. Capitol January 8, 2009 in Washington.

Congrats, You’re a Member of Congress. Now Listen Up.

Some brief foreign-policy advice for the newest members of the U.S. legislature.