Archive: Rumsfeld

In This Case, Rumsfeld Was Right

If there were a musical about the Pentagon today, the opening number and reprise would be "If Rumsfeld Was for It, We're Against It." Witness the portrayal of the reversal of a "controversial" plan by the former secretary of Defense,...

By William M. Arkin | May 22, 2008; 11:30 AM ET | Comments (10)

Gates: Moderate to a Fault

As secretary of Defense, Robert M. Gates has certainly changed the overall tone of civil-military relations from that of his prickly and arrogant predecessor. Friendly and not prone to gaffes or mistakes, Gates exudes Washington moderation. Given his short tenure...

By William M. Arkin | April 23, 2008; 09:30 AM ET | Comments (11)

Partisan Warfare

As Congress and the American public prepare for the testimony of Gen. David Petraeus on the progress of the surge in Iraq, we'll hear a lot about the value of 'professional' military advice. But top military officers are also political partisans.

By William M. Arkin | August 14, 2007; 08:43 AM ET | Comments (13)

Pat Tillman and the Coming Witch Hunt on Iraq

Interrupting his retirement and in need of a haircut, former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld showed up on Capitol Hill yesterday for the first time since leaving the Pentagon. He had been called to testify not about Iraq, Iran, Pakistan...

By William M. Arkin | August 2, 2007; 08:03 AM ET | Comments (47)

It's Time to See the Army like FEMA

FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, is synonymous with disaster. When ever it in the news, of course you know some disaster has occurred. And we're pretty sure as well that part of that disaster is FEMA itself: relief checks...

By William M. Arkin | March 12, 2007; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (22)

Pinning It All on Rumsfeld

If Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) thinks that the buck stops with Donald Rumsfeld, he is not qualified to be President. On the campaign trail, McCain labeled the former Secretary of Defense the worst in history Monday. Sure there is a...

By William M. Arkin | February 21, 2007; 08:28 AM ET | Comments (126)

New Middle East Commander Correctly Stays in His Lane

Adm. William J. Fallon, the incoming commander of U.S. military forces in the Middle East, showed a bit of his Navy biases yesterday, speaking of Iran's ability to deny U.S. access to Persian Gulf oil. Fallon also described the Horn...

By William M. Arkin | January 31, 2007; 08:29 AM ET | Comments (57)

What a "Surge" of Forces Really Means in Iraq

Out of the November election, where the majority clearly expressed their displeasure with the Iraq war and the President, we have witnessed the creation of the "surge." Dismissed initially as a fanciful quest by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), a surge...

By William M. Arkin | December 18, 2006; 10:00 AM ET | Comments (45)

A Rumsfeld Christmas Song

Snowflakes roasting on an open fire, Rummy's in his final throes, Useless memos being fed to the pyre, Hosannas sung by GI Joes. Everybody knows the voters said you have to go, Iraq has got to be made right, Have...

By William M. Arkin | December 15, 2006; 09:19 AM ET | Comments (13)

Rumsfeld's Africa Command

One of Donald Rumsfeld's final acts as secretary of defense will be to put the finishing touches on an Africa Command for the U.S. military. It will be the first post-World War II command covering the African continent, which is...

By William M. Arkin | December 14, 2006; 09:32 AM ET | Comments (39)

The Gates Agenda and the Public Demand

Donald Rumsfeld hasn't left the building and Bob Gates doesn't have his new business cards -- yet already everyone is maneuvering to assert what went wrong in the old regime and what needs to be done in the new. Rumsfeld...

By William M. Arkin | November 13, 2006; 10:43 AM ET | Comments (28)

Rumsfeld's Legacy

The ritual sacrifice of Donald Rumsfeld serves one purpose for the Bush administration: crafting a bipartisan exit strategy in Iraq with the absence of a polarizing and immovable figure. The danger ahead though is that the brilliant minds in Washington...

By William M. Arkin | November 9, 2006; 11:00 AM ET | Comments (36)

Rumsfeld Goes: Live Online Initial Thoughts

I did a "Live Online" forum with readers today at 3 PM about the Rumsfeld firing and my initial impressions. You can read the entire transcript here:...

By William M. Arkin | November 8, 2006; 06:04 PM ET | Comments (41)

The Mandate on Rumsfeld

In the weekend before an election, everything is political. So when the Military Times newspapers revealed this weekend that they would be calling for President Bush to fire Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld in their upcoming November 13 issues,...

By William M. Arkin | November 6, 2006; 09:15 AM ET | Comments (22)

The Role of Military Men in Politics

With national security dominating the American political scene, it was only a matter of time before we began to see men in uniform increasingly appearing on the national stage. Two of the most prominent, retired Vice Admiral Joseph A. Sestak...

By William M. Arkin | October 19, 2006; 03:33 PM ET | Comments (33)

Rumsfeld's Enemy: It's Us

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld delivered a fire-and-brimstone speech at the American Legion's annual convention yesterday -- after acknowledging young soldiers serving in Iraq and giving the boy scouts a shout-out, the secretary wove an elaborate picture of an...

By William M. Arkin | August 30, 2006; 08:01 AM ET | Comments (363)

On Iraq, the Military Shares Some Blame

In the post-Lieberman world, with the Iraq war declared little more than a looming electoral mandate, one group is left not just holding the bag but seems excused from judgment: the American military. Those on the ground in Iraq...

By William M. Arkin | August 10, 2006; 09:42 AM ET | Comments (33)

Hezbollah's Strategy, and Ours

Yesterday was a big head-hunting day. Sen. Hillary Clinton went for Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's head; Israel went for that of Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah. Back at full-scale bombing after the 48 hour "suspension," Israel hopes to...

By William M. Arkin | August 4, 2006; 09:53 AM ET | Comments (243)

Air Heads: Military Origins of the Current Afghanistan Mess

Yesterday, I wrote about the ideological inability of the Bush administration to focus, and its single-minded military pursuit of al Qaeda at the expense of nation building and political understanding and reconciliation. In a longer article I wrote for...

By William M. Arkin | June 13, 2006; 08:00 AM ET | Comments (20)

Rumsfeld Didn't Lie, But He Should Still Go

Anyone who has ever been in a relationship or taken Psych 101 knows that accusing someone of lying is unlikely to unleash truth-telling.  And more important, it exposes the hand, and the conclusion, of the questioner. Yesterday, protestors repeatedly...

By William M. Arkin | May 5, 2006; 08:26 AM ET | Comments (668)

No Smoking Gun on Rumsfeld

  I was particularly intrigued by an article in the March/April issue of the official journal Military Review (pdf) by Col. Kevin C.M. Benson on post-war planning for Iraq. I thought: finally an insider might provide some smoking gun in...

By William M. Arkin | April 27, 2006; 08:16 AM ET | Comments (39)

 

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