Obama to Tap Shinseki for Veterans Affairs

Ex-general was fired for saying US had to increase troop levels
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 6, 2008 4:57 PM CST

(Newser) – Democratic officials say President-elect Barack Obama has selected retired Gen. Eric K. Shinseki to be the next Veterans Affairs secretary, the AP reports. Shinseki is the former Army chief of staff who upset his civilian bosses in 2003 when he testified to Congress that it might take several hundred thousand US troops to control Iraq after the US invasion. He was forced out of his job within months for being "wildly off the mark."

But his words proved prophetic after President Bush in early 2007 announced a "surge" of additional troops to Iraq after miscalculating. Officials said Obama will announce his selection tomorrow. They spoke on condition of anonymity to avoid pre-empting the official announcement.