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Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, architect of an unpopular war in Iraq, intends to resign after six stormy years at the Pentagon, Republican officials said Wednesday.

Officials said Robert Gates, former head of the CIA under the first President Bush, would replace Rumsfeld. NBC News? Tim Russert confirmed Rumsfeld?s resignation and the replacement pick.

The development occurred one day after midterm elections that cost Republicans control of the House, and possibly the Senate, as well. Surveys of voters at polling places said opposition to the war was a significant contributor to the Democratic victory.

President Bush was expected to announce Rumsfeld’s departure and Gates’ nomination at an afternoon news conference. Administration officials notified congressional officials in advance.

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