Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld summoned more than a dozen assistant secretaries to his office late last month. Thinking back, the attendees should have seen a clue that his days were numbered.
During a discussion of the state of the Pentagon and four military branches, Mr. Rumsfeld suddenly pulled out a 10-page list of what he thought the Pentagon has accomplished during his nearly six-year term.
There were more than 100 items, the things that make up a legacy.
“Ishouldhaveknownthentheguy was leaving,” said a defense source.
Little did anyone know that Mr. Rumsfeld and President Bush had held a series of one-on-one discussions on the deteriorating conditions in Iraq and that a bottom line had been reached: The defense secretary would resign. Among the accomplishments:
Theglobalwaronterrorismand degrading the al Qaeda network.
A deployed missile-defense system.
Empowered special operations, with their budget increased by 107 percentandpersonnelby11percent.
There were not a lot of entries on Iraq, the war that cost Mr. Rumsfeld his job.