Bush withdraws nomination of Army secretary


WASHINGTON -- President Bush has withdrawn the nomination of Assistant Defense Secretary Richard Armitage to be secretary of the Army at the request of Armitage, who cited family concerns, it was announced Thursday.

Armitage, 44, also announced his resignation as assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs, effective June 5, Pentagon spokesman Pete Williams said.


'With profound regret, the secretary of defense wishes to announce that Richard Armitage, designate for secretary of the Army, asked that the president withdraw his name from consideration for Army secretary,' Williams said. 'The president has acceded to Mr. Armitage's request.'

Bush announced Armitage's nomination April 25.

No successors have been announced for secretary of the Army or for Armitage's current post.

In a letter sent to Bush Wednesday, Armitage said, 'After nearly eight and one-half years of service in the Department of Defense, much of it under difficult and demanding circumstances, I find that I can no longer accommodate the needs of my ever-growing family with the time and travel demands of public service.

'The Army needs fulltime, dedicated leadership. I regret to say I find myself at present ... unable to face that challenge. It is time for me to slow down and concentrate on personal matters, paticularly my family.'


Defense Secretary Dick Cheney told Armitage his service in the Pentagon has been 'truly outstanding' and that it 'strengthened the security of the United States and its allies,' Williams said.

The FBI investigation of Armitage for the job of Army secretary posed no problems, Williams said.

'It had nothing to do with his decision,' Williams said. 'His decision was a personal one, he wants to spend more time with his family.'

Armitage has been the assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs since June 9, 1983. From 1981-83, he was deputy assistant secretary of state for international security affairs for East Asia and the Pacific.

He also formerly served as an administrative assistant to Senate Republican leader Robert Dole of Kansas.

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