Defense chief Gates says wants to leave in 2011

By : | August 17, 2010 | World Political News Hour

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, a driving force behind both the Afghan war plan and in overhauling the Pentagon’s finances, said in an interview published on Monday he aims to retire next year.

But his press secretary Geoff Morrell shot down suggestions that Gates announced his retirement to Foreign Policy magazine, saying it was nothing more than “musings” over a wish to quit, which the U.S. defense chief has done before.

“I think that it would be a mistake to wait until January 2012,” Gates was quoted as telling the magazine in an article published on its web site. http:/

“This is not the kind of job you want to fill in the spring of an election year,” added Gates, who is also in the midst of a major budgetary overhaul of the Pentagon.