In early November, an editorial calling for Donald Rumsfeld to be replaced as secretary of defense, showed up simultaneously in the Army Times, Navy Times, Air Force Times, and Marine Corps Times. Distributed to members of the U.S. armed forces throughout the world, these publications stated that President Bush must "face the hard bruising truth [that] Rumsfeld has lost credibility with the uniformed leadership, with the troops, with Congress, and with the public at large."
Only days earlier, Mr. Bush stated that he wanted both Rumsfeld and Vice President Cheney to remain in their posts for the remaining two years of his administration. As he spoke, more troops were being killed and wounded in a war that has degenerated into a civil conflict between Muslim factions competing for power.
Then, one day after the Republicans suffered what Mr. Bush himself called a "thumping" on election day, Rumsfeld's resignation was announced. To replace him, Mr. Bush turned to Council on Foreign Relations veteran and former CIA Director Robert Gates, a move that does not bode well for the troops caught in a civil war between Islamic factions.
Iraq is no place for American forces no matter who is secretary of defense.