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ABC: It's Gates (UPDATED)

Robert Gates.jpgJake Tapper: Gates a "Done Deal"

Sources tell ABC News that Defense Secretary Robert Gates will be staying on in the top Pentagon job, for at least the first year of the Obama administration. "It is a done deal," a source close to the process tells ABC News.

Update from Colin: Two sources told me they believe Richard Danzig will be named Deputy Defense Secretary. He will choose the new faces to man the Pentagon, ensuring the Obama people get folks who are loyal to them and reflect their policy inclinations. Apparently, Danzig will hold that slot for up to a year. Then, if all goes well, he will replace Gates.

ALSO:President-elect Obama will introduce his national security team to the public early next week, a seasoned team that will include: Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY), as Secretary of State; retired Marine Gen. Jim Jones as National Security Adviser; retired Adm. Dennis Blair as Director of National Intelligence; and Susan Rice as Ambassador to the United Nations.

Gates, while a registered independent, has served numerous Republican administrations. President George W. Bush nominated Gates to replace the Donald Rumsfeld after the 2006 midterm elections, when the war in Iraq was spiraling out of control.

The former Eagle Scout is expected to be rolled out immediately after the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend as part of a larger national security team expected to include Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, as Secretary of State; Marine Gen. Jim Jones (Ret.) as National Security Adviser; Admiral Dennis Blair (Ret.) as Director of National Intelligence; and Dr. Susan Rice as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.

[EDITOR: Okay, I swear, this is the last time a make a political prediction. I dismissed the rumor of Gates' being retained as ridiculous for weeks. Man am I eating crow now. I still say Danzig will eventually be SecDef...but, wait, there I go again! --Christian]

--John Noonan

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