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Last Updated: Friday, 8 June 2007, 20:40 GMT 21:40 UK
US military to get new commander
Admiral Michael Mullen
Admiral Mullen is chief of US naval operations
US Defence Secretary Robert Gates is to recommend Adm Michael Mullen as the new chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the country's top military post.

Mr Gates said he would not seek another term for the current chairman, Gen Peter Pace, to avoid a "divisive" confirmation process in Congress.

Gen Pace has been involved in all the controversial decisions surrounding the US military presence in Iraq.

Adm Mullen is at the moment chief of naval operations.

The Bush administration has faced several challenges on Iraq in recent months from Congress, which is now controlled by the Democrats.

Mr Gates said he had intended to seek another two-year term for Gen Pace but chose to avoid a "a backward-looking and very contentious process".

He said Adm Mullen had the "vision, strategic insight and integrity to lead America's armed forces".


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Defence Secretary Robert Gates explains his decision



SEE ALSO
Profile: Gen Peter Pace
22 Apr 05 |  Americas
New US military chief takes over
30 Sep 05 |  Americas
Bush nominates marine to key post
22 Apr 05 |  Americas

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