Joint Chiefs Chairman Gets the Gate
Defense secretary cleans house, taps admiral for top job
By M. Morris,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 8, 2007 2:50 PM CDT
In this photo made available by the U.S Navy on Friday June 8, 2007, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Mullen, center, greets sailors assigned to Naval Hospital Great Lakes prior to a wreath laying...   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 4 more images

(Newser) – In an effort to avoid confirmation hearings that would amount to a referendum on the war, the defense secretary will not recommend the Joint Chiefs chairman for a second 2-year term. Robert Gates said today he had conferred with senators from both parties and "concluded that the focus would have been on the past rather than the future."

Chief of naval operations Mike Mullen is expected to replace current chairman Peter Pace October 1. Pace was vice chairman for 4 years before landing the top job and was deeply involved in the war's planning and execution. The current vice chairman will also be replaced, an indication that the administration's post-Rumsfeld cleanup continues, NBC News reports.