Donald Rumsfeld

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Donald Rumsfeld : biography

July 9, 1932 –

As a result, Rumsfeld stirred controversy as to whether the forces that did invade Iraq were enough in size. In a September 2007 interview with The Daily Telegraph, General Mike Jackson, the head of the British army during the invasion, criticized Rumsfeld’s plans for the invasion of Iraq as "intellectually bankrupt," adding that Rumsfeld is "one of those most responsible for the current situation in Iraq," and that he felt that "the US approach to combating global terrorism is ‘inadequate’ and too focused on military might rather than nation building and diplomacy.", Daily Telegraph (online), September 1, 2007

In 2006, Rumsfeld responded to a question by Brit Hume of Fox News as to whether he pressed General Tommy Franks to lower his request for 400,000 troops for the war:

Rumsfeld told Hume that Franks ultimately decided against such a troop level.

There was also controversy between Rumsfeld at the Pentagon and the CIA over who had the authority to fire Hellfire missiles from Predator drones. (pp. 189–90, 211–214) Even though the drones were not ready for deployment until 2002, Daniel Benjamin and Steven Simon have argued that "these quarrels kept the Predator from being used against al Qaeda…. One individual who was at the center of the action called this episode ‘typical’ and complained that ‘Rumsfeld never missed an opportunity to fail to cooperate. The fact is, the Secretary of Defense is an obstacle. He has helped the terrorists.’Daniel Benjamin and Steven Simon, The Next Attack (New York: Times Books, 2005) ISBN 0-8050-7941-6 p. 161.

After the Iraq invasion, U.S. troops were criticized for not protecting the historical artifacts and treasures located at the National Museum of Iraq. When asked at the time why U.S. troops did not actively seek to stop the lawlessness, Rumsfeld replied, "Stuff happens… and it’s untidy and freedom’s untidy, and free people are free to make mistakes and commit crimes and do bad things. They’re also free to live their lives and do wonderful things. And that’s what’s going to happen here.", April 11, 2003 2:00 PM EDT He further commented that, "The images you are seeing on television you are seeing over, and over, and over, and it’s the same picture of some person walking out of some building with a vase, and you see it 20 times, and you think, "My goodness, were there that many vases?"

Throughout his tenure, Rumsfeld sought to remind the American people of the 9/11 attacks and threats against Americans, noting at one time in a 2006 memo to "[m]ake the American people realize they are surrounded in the world by violent extremists.", Daily Telegraph UK, March 11, 2007