Shinseki plans
to move to isles

The Kauai-born former general
claims no political ambitions

Retired Army Gen. Eric Shinseki said yesterday that he plans to move back to Hawaii but does not intend to run for governor.

The former Army chief of staff, a Kauai native, said the timing of his return would be up to his wife, Patricia.

"I intend to move back to Hawaii. It's just a question of when," Shinseki said after addressing a luncheon for business executives.

Asked if he would run for the state's highest office, Shinseki said had had no such plans.

"Right now, I've got lots going on in the East Coast," he said.

He did not hint at what he hoped to do once back in the islands, saying only, "That's the big question."

Shinseki, 62, has never run for political office, and his party affiliation is unknown. Democratic U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, however, has publicly expressed hope that Shinseki would run for office, saying he would make a good legislator or governor.

Republican Gov. Linda Lingle already has said she will run for re-election next year, and no Democrat has emerged as a front-runner to oppose her.

Shinseki won national attention as Army chief of staff when he said the military would need 200,000 troops to occupy Iraq.

Pentagon officials ridiculed the estimate, but they later appeared to prove the general correct when they boosted coalition troops in Iraq beyond 150,000.

Shinseki declined to comment on the war in Iraq.

"The reason is you have some terrific young Americans, coalition forces doing a great job, and they deserve all the support we can provide," he said.

Shinseki retired in 2003 after 38 years in the Army, the last four years as chief of staff. He now serves on the boards of BancWest Corp., Honeywell International Inc. and Grove Farm Corp.

Shinseki told executives about his own challenges leading 1 million people as the Army modernized in the post-Cold War era. He related how changing an organization requires agility, a convincing vision and a strategy to quickly gain legitimacy and momentum.

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