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.”