Posted on Thu, Dec. 16, 2004
Lott: Replace defense chief
By MELISSA M. SCALLAN
BILOXI - U.S. Sen. Trent Lott doesn't believe Defense
Secretary Donald Rumsfeld should resign immediately,
but he does think Rumsfeld should be replaced sometime
in the next year.
"I'm not a fan of Secretary Rumsfeld," Lott,
R-Mississippi, told the Biloxi Chamber of Commerce on
Wednesday morning. "I don't think he listens enough to
his uniformed officers."
Rumsfeld has been criticized since a soldier asked him
last week why the combat vehicles used in the war in
Iraq don't have the proper armor. Both Rumsfeld and
President Bush have said more vehicle armor will be
shipped to Iraq.
Lott said the United States needs more troops to help
with the war. The country also needs a plan to leave
Iraq once elections are over at the end of January.
Lott doesn't think Rumsfeld is necessarily the person
to carry out that plan.
"I would like to see a change in that slot in the next
year or so," Lott said. "I'm not calling for his
resignation, but I think we do need a change at some
On another military issue, Lott said he hopes the Base
Realignment and Closure Commission will consider
closing bases overseas rather than in the United
"I think we're looking at closures at home before
looking at other parts of the world," he said.
Keesler Air Force Base and the Seabee Base in Gulfport
most likely will be spared, Lott said, but Naval
Station Pascagoula could be affected.