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Obama Taps Shinseki for VA: President-elect Obama has announced that he wants former Army Chief of Staff Gen. Eric Shinseki to serve as Secretary of Veterans Affairs. The Vietnam War veteran took an unpopular stance in the Donald Rumsfeld Pentagon when he warned that the Bush Administration had badly underestimated the number of US forces needed for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In his remarks, Obama said: "There is no one more distinguished, more determined, or more qualified to build [a 21st century] VA than the leader I am announcing as our next Secretary of Veterans Affairs—Gen. Eric Shinseki. No one will ever doubt that this former Army Chief of Staff has the courage to stand up for our troops and our veterans."