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Successor Talk Fills Pentagon, Capitol Hill

From a Times Staff Writer

The nomination of Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz to head the World Bank came as a surprise to many senior Pentagon officials and set off speculation Wednesday about his successor and about the future of Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld.

Officials at the Pentagon and on Capitol Hill, speaking on condition of anonymity, named a number of potential candidates for the No. 2 Pentagon job. Among them are Navy Secretary Gordon R. England, a key Rumsfeld ally, and Stephen A. Cambone, undersecretary for intelligence.

If Rumsfeld were to consider leaving soon, a new No. 2 could be a stepping stone to the top job, some sources speculated.

Among possibilities in that case are former Sen. Dan Coats (R-Ind.), who served as ambassador to Germany, and Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John W. Warner (R-Va.). A Capitol Hill favorite is former Deputy Secretary of State Richard L. Armitage, a Navy veteran.

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