James Fallows, Dick Cheney, Donald Robertson discussed on The World
So If the judgment had been made When Donald Robertson was around age 45 or 50, people would have thought a promising precocious, moderate career. So here's Donald Rumsfeld in 2000 and six This is three years into the Iraq war. It's a recorded message he gave to US forces after he was forced to retire. It's about the war on terror. Long struggle we are in is complex. It's unfamiliar, and it's still little understood, leading some to believe that there is no need to go on. So Jim Fallows the war in Iraq to what degree is Donald Rumsfeld responsible for the U. S decision to invade Iraq in 2003? He was relatively under involved in the decision to go to war to use the 9 11 attacks as the justification for invading Iraq itself. Dick Cheney was much more centrally involved in that Paul Wolfowitz and some others, But it was when the planning for the war began in its execution that Rumsfeld himself came much more into center stage. To your knowledge. Did he ever feel regret about what happened in Iraq or taking the responsibility? It's worth being clear about what it is that Rumsfeld should take responsibility for might feel culpable, which was essentially he refused to prepare for what it would mean to hold the territory that the U. S. Forces could take relatively quickly in the Spring of 2000 and three Russell believed in a concept of lightweight precision and military operations. He kept low balling the figures for what it would take in terms of troop presence to hold Iraq. And in his public and private life, both in the following years of Secretary of defense and then as a private citizen, he was notably unreflective, unrepentant. Quite a contrast to Robert McNamara, who spent the rest of his life after secretary of defense is during the Vietnam War essentially bearing the burden of those decisions. And run cells memoir. I mean, despite the massive casualties in Iraq, he essentially seemed to say that the war went over time and over budget. Did he ever express any regrets about the death toll? Not that I would am aware, And this seems to be in the nature of the man that that he had been so successful so early with this jaunty straight ahead approach, And it's worth mentioning that after serving as the youngest secretary of defense in U. S history under Gerald Ford, he went on to become a very successful business CEO and made a lot of money that way. And everything in his life had prepared him for the idea that quick decisions, snap judgments. Look forward rather than back. I'm not aware that he ever talked about the hundreds of thousands of lives that were lost in Iraq and around the world and the United States because of the way he had planned the war. It seems like everyone who knew Rumsfeld, friend or foe described him as driven, tireless, smart, politically cunning. As someone who interviewed him several times, Jim, how did he come across? He was somebody who prided himself on quick ray part a like responses to questions. He viewed interviews almost as debates. Themselves enjoyed this sort of fencing, parry and thrust of discussions. You don't really mean that you can't say that. Well, what do you mean? Okay, I did say that and so back and forth again. He enjoyed the quickness, I think as opposed to the depth, so he was interesting to talk with, but I think it showed again. The strengths and perhaps the limitations of his, uh Executive functions. That's fascinating, Jim, What do you think, is wrong? Cells legacy. Sadly, it has to be the management and mismanagement of the Iraq war. He was the exemplar of a mid century moderate Republicanism when he rose in politics. He ran the office of Economic Opportunity during the Nixon forward a years and was an ambassador to NATO. But sadly, he went back, perhaps when he should not have and made a very destructive decision even worse and its consequences. James Fallows is a writer, journalist and correspondent for the Atlantic who interviewed and wrote about Donald Rumsfeld throughout his long career in public service, Jim Thank you very much, Marco. My pleasure. Thank you. The impact of US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is a story that we continue following a story that.