Donald Rumsfeld, Architect of Disastrous 21st Century Foreign Policy, Dies at 88
Donald Rumsfeld is dead at age 88 of multiple myeloma. He held many positions of power and respect in American institutions public and private over the past six decades, including naval aviator in the 1950s, Illinois representative in Congress in the 1960s, ambassador to NATO and chief of the wage-and-price-control-imposing Cost of Living Council under President Richard Nixon, and both chief of staff and secretary of defense to President Gerald Ford in the 1970s. In the private sector, he worked in senior management in companies including pharmaceutical firm G.D. Searle (1977–85) and electronics firm General Instrument (1990–93).
But Rumsfeld’s most intense impact on his country and world history, and what he will doubtless be remembered for when all the other details have faded, was his role as secretary of defense under President George W. Bush when the U.S. launched its wars against Afghanistan beginning in earnest in October 2001 and against Iraq starting in March 2003 that overthrew its dictator Saddam Hussein; that war alone left over 4,000 U.S. troops dead and over 31,000 wounded in action.
The War in Afghanistan, 20 years on, is perhaps finally sputtering to a close with little gained and much lost. The Iraq invasion also happened in the aftermath of the 9/11 attack on the U.S., but Iraq had nothing to do with that. Intervention was justified with rumors of Iraq possessing weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) that were said to represent some threat to the U.S., but Rumsfeld was well aware we didn’t really know whether they existed or not, and it seems after all they did not.
Rumsfeld already had placed his reputational weight before 9/11 behind the idea that the U.S. must do something to keep various imagined international foes from getting or having the sort of weapons we had, with the 1998 Rumsfeld Report. Rumsfeld was at least honest enough eventually to be doubtful about whether imposing the precious gift of democracy was a reasonable or worthwhile goal for invading. The invading was to be its own reward when neither WMDs nor democracy was a legitimate reason or excuse, in showing the world’s bad guys they can expe
Article from Latest – Reason.com