The decision by U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates not to renominate Gen. Peter Pace to a second two-year term as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff because of the possibility of a difficult confirmation hearing may have some short-term benefits for the Bush administration by sparing it another re-examination of its failed policies in Iraq. But the long-term damage to civil-military relations and military professionalism will be substantial.

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Lawrence J. Korb

Senior Fellow