Gates Sworn In and More Troops Sent Off

Changes at the Defense Department could mean changes in policy for the Iraq war.

Robert Gates was sworn in this morning as the new Secretary of Defense. At the Pentagon ceremony, Gates expressed thanks for his new assignment but also warned that U.S. failure in Iraq would be a calamity that would haunt the U.S. for many years to come.

Gates said he intends to travel to Iraq “quite soon” to consult with top American commanders in the field.

And as Gates tries to find ways to bring American troops home from Iraq, a senior defense official said the United States may deploy more troops after the New Year.

The official said the move is for just a short time and to combat rising violence in the region. The troop increase could be as high as 20,000 or more.