Donald Rumsfeld

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Donald Rumsfeld : biography

July 9, 1932 –

Rumsfeld wrote in his memoir Known and Unknown that his meeting with Hussein "has been the subject of gossip, rumors, and crackpot conspiracy theories for more than a quarter of a century… Supposedly I had been sent to see Saddam by President Reagan either to negotiate a secret oil deal, to help arm Iraq, or to make Iraq an American client state. The truth is that our encounter was more straightforward and less dramatic."Rumsfeld, Donald (2011), p. 6

In addition to taking the position of Middle East envoy, Rumsfeld served as a member of the President’s General Advisory Committee on Arms Control (1982–1986); President Reagan’s Special Envoy on the Law of the Sea Treaty (1982–1983); a senior adviser to President Reagan’s Panel on Strategic Systems (1983–1984); a member of the Joint Advisory Commission on U.S./Japan Relations (1983–1984); a member of the National Commission on the Public Service (1987–1990); a member of the National Economic Commission (1988–1989); a member of the Board of Visitors of the National Defense University (1988–1992); a member of the FCC’s High Definition Television Advisory Committee (1992–1993); a member of the U.S. Trade Deficit Review Commission (1999–2000); a member of the Council on Foreign Relations; and Chairman of the U.S. Commission to Assess National Security Space Management and Organization (2000). Among his most noteworthy positions was Chairman of the nine-member Commission to Assess the Ballistic Missile Threat to the United States from January to July 1998. In its findings, the commission concluded that Iraq, Iran, and North Korea could develop intercontinental ballistic missile capabilities in five to ten years and that U.S. intelligence would have little warning before such systems were deployed.

During the 1980s, Rumsfeld became a member of the National Academy of Public Administration, and was named a member of the boards of trustees of the Gerald R. Ford Foundation, the Eisenhower Exchange Fellowships, the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and the National Park Foundation. He was also a member of the U.S./Russia Business Forum and Chairman of the Congressional Leadership’s National Security Advisory Group. Rumsfeld was a founder and active member of the Project for the New American Century, a neo-conservative think-tank dedicated to maintaining U.S. primacy. In addition, he served as United Way Inter-governmental Affairs Director in Washington, D.C. from 1986 to 1989 and was asked to serve the U.S. State Department as a foreign policy consultant from 1990 to 1993. He also sat on European Engineering giant Asea Brown Boveri’s board from 1990 to 2001, a company which sold two light-water nuclear reactors to the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization for installation in North Korea, as part of the 1994 agreed framework reached under President Bill Clinton. Rumsfeld’s office said that he did not "recall it being brought before the board at any time" though Fortune magazine reported that "board members were informed about this project."

To honor his foreign policy work, Rumsfeld was named honorary Vice-Chancellor of Yale University in 2001.

Presidential and vice presidential aspirations

During 1976 Republican National Convention, Rumsfeld received one vote for Vice President of the United States, although he did not seek the office, and the nomination was easily won by Ford’s choice, Senator Bob Dole. During the 1980 Republican National Convention he also received one vote for Vice President. Economist Milton Friedman later noted that he, Friedman, regarded Reagan’s pick of Bush as "the worst decision not only of his campaign but of his presidency," and that Rumsfeld was instead his preference. "Had he been chosen," Friedman said, "I believe he would have succeeded Reagan as president and the sorry Bush-Clinton period would never have occurred.""Two Lucky People: Memoirs" by Milton Friedman and Rose Friedman. 1998. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press): p. 391