Shinseki to be named VA secretary

December 6, 2008 4:03:46 PM PST
President-elect Barack Obama has chosen retired Gen. Eric K. Shinseki to be the next Veterans Affairs secretary, turning to a former Army chief of staff once vilified by the Bush administration for questioning its Iraq war strategy. The choice was first reported by The Associated Press.

Obama will formally announce the selection at a news conference Sunday. Shinseki would be the first Army four-star general of Japanese-American ancestry.

Shinseki, 66, upset Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in 2003 when he told Congress it might take a few hundred thousand U.S.

troops to control Iraq after the U.S. invasion. He was ousted for being "wildly off the mark," but his words proved prophetic after President George W. Bush in early 2007 announced a "surge" of additional troops to Iraq.