U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has accepted President Bush's request to continue leading the Pentagon during Mr. Bush's second term.

Mr. Rumsfeld, set to begin an unprecedented third term as defense secretary, has come under fire for the prison abuse scandals in Iraq and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Lawmakers have also criticized him for not sending enough troops to stabilize Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein, and his refusal to enlarge the army to meet America's growing security commitments.

Political analysts say Mr. Rumsfeld wants to keep moving forward on his plans to modernize the U.S. military and to help win the war on terror.

A former congressman and White House chief of staff, the defense secretary has a long history of support from both Mr. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and AP.