Rums­feld critic

The Washington Times Weekly - - National Security -

For­mer De­fense Sec­re­tary Don­ald H. Rums­feld, a main ar­chi­tect of the war on ter­ror, has been lam­basted in many quar­ters for his stew­ard­ship of Iraq.

Still, it is dif­fi­cult to find a more com­plete con­dem­na­tion of his stew­ard­ship than a speech this month by An­thony H. Cordes­man at the Na­tional De­fense Uni­ver­sity in Wash­ing­ton, spe­cial cor­re­spon­dent Rowan Scar­bor­ough re­ports.

Mr. Cordes­man, a de­fense an­a­lyst at the Cen­ter for Strate­gic and In­ter­na­tional Stud­ies, had un­kind words for Pres­i­dent Ge­orge W. Bush’s en­tire na­tional se­cu­rity team, in­clud­ing Vice Pres­i­dent Dick Cheney.

“We have gone into two wars with no clear plan for con­flict ter­mi­na­tion or for sta­bil­ity op­er­a­tions,” he said. “We have then tried to man­age wars through sup­ple­men­tals in the ab­sence of longterm plans, tried to de­cou­ple mil­i­tary op­er­a­tions from na­tion build­ing, and been so slow to re­act to the growth of the threat in Afghanistan that we are now los­ing a war we once thought we had de­ci­sively won.

“Some of this can be blamed on what may have been the worst na­tional se­cu­rity team of the post­war era. As some­one who thought [Kennedy and John­son De­fense Sec­re­tary] Robert McNa­mara rep­re­sented the nadir in de­fense lead­er­ship, I have to give Don­ald Rums­feld credit for be­ing the epit­ome of a mi­cro­manag­ing bully who scat­tered snowflakes like dan­druff, and with about as much ef­fect. I also have a hor­ri­fy­ing sense of deja vu when I com­pare [Kennedy and John­son Na­tional Se­cu­rity Ad­viser] McGeorge Bundy and [John­son spe­cial as­sis­tant Walt W. Ros­tow and un­der­sec­re­tary of state Eu­gene V. Ros­tow] to Cheney and our re­cent na­tional-se­cu­rity ad­vis­ers. There is far too lit­tle dif­fer­ence be­tween the ‘neo­con­ser­va­tives’ of Iraq and Afghanistan and the ‘ne­olib­er­als’ of Viet­nam.” Ouch! In­side the Ring con­tacted Larry Di Rita, for­mer close Rums­feld aide, about this com­plete de­nun­ci­a­tion.

Mr. Cordes­man, Mr. Di Rita said, is “a gas­bag who ought to roll his sleeves up and go to work rather than sit in his air­tight room and crit­i­cize every­one. He’s a boor.”

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