US Senate confirms Gates as defense secretary

The Senate voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to confirm Robert Gates as defense secretary, with members of both parties strongly backing him as the man who will replace Donald H. Rumsfeld and help overhaul President George W. Bush's war policies in Iraq. The 95-2 vote to approve Gates, coupled with Wednesdsay's release of an independent study lambasting Bush's approach to the costly conflict, added pressure on the president to rethink US strategy in Iraq. Gates said this week that he does not think the United States is winning that war and conceded that all options to overhaul the administration's approach must remain on the table.