Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John Warner, R-Va., hopes Defense Secretary-designate Robert Gates can be confirmed before the end of the year.
Warner says he'd like to hold confirmation hearings within a few weeks.
He also tells reporters it would be a good idea for Gates to detail his objectives in Iraq during those hearings.
Warner says he expects Gates will come in with "new ideas and new initiatives."
Senate Democrats have said they will probably support Gates, though some have questions about his ties to the Iran-Contra scandal.
Gates served as C-I-A director for the president's father. During those confirmation hearings, he came under fire from C-I-A officials who said he manipulated intelligence while he was a senior analyst.