Defense Secretary Robert Gates will stay at his cabinet post for at least another year.
Gates, a Republican, is a holdover from the Bush administration.
After his election, President Barack Obama asked Gates to remain at the Pentagon to maintain stability with the ongoing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
He has now agreed to stay through 2010 and perhaps longer.
Keeping Gates for at least another year means he will be able to manage the expansion of the Afghanistan war through the summer.
He would also look toward the first U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan planned for the summer of 2011. In addition, he would oversee the halving of U.S. Forces in Iraq to about 50,000.