US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is to leave office after damaging losses for Republicans in the US mid-term elections.
Very close to US President George W Bush, Mr Rumsfeld was seen as the architect of the US-led war in Iraq, a war that became the central issue of this election campaign.
He has been both the youngest and the oldest defence secretary in US history. In between, he met Saddam Hussein as an envoy for then President Ronald Reagan in 1983.
Famed for his acerbic style, he aimed to transform the army - making it into a leaner, meaner and faster machine.
But US troops, many having served double terms of duty, eventually rounded on Mr Rumsfeld, complaining that they were left under-equipped.
As the war progressed, his famed conviction and confidence on Iraq turned sour as he was accused of rushing into Iraq ill-prepared.
The Abu Ghraib scandal further damaged his reputation. His critics lambasted him for starting a war with no exit strategy.