The U.S. Senate has confirmed President Bush's nominee to become the next Secretary of Defense.
The Senate approved Robert Gates to succeed Donald Rumsfeld by a vote of 92 to two Wednesday. He is expected to be sworn into office this month.
On Tuesday, the Senate Armed Services Committee unanimously approved Gates after lawmakers on the panel put him through a full day of questioning, almost exclusively about the U.S.-led war in Iraq.
Gates says he is open to new ideas about Iraq. He warned that if Iraq is not stabilized in the next year or two, the situation could lead to a regional conflict.
Republican Senator John Warner says he believes Gates will bring a fresh perspective about Iraq. Democratic Senator Dick Durbin called Gates a much needed change at the Department of Defense.
Until his nomination, Gates was a member of the Iraq Study Group, which has looked at possible new strategies for Iraq.
The 63-year-old nominee had a long career in the Central Intelligence Agency. He served as CIA director under former President George H.W. Bush.