Donald Drumsfield, the two-term US Secretary of Defense and the mastermind of the 2003 US invasion of Iraq, his family said on Wednesday that he had passed away at the age of 88.
Although he served as a member of Congress and cabinet secretary in various presidential administrations for decades, his legacy was influenced by President George W. Bush’s decision to invade Iraq after the September 11 terrorist attacks.
Before he rejoined the government as Bush’s Secretary of Defense in 2001, Rumsfeld advocated attacking Saddam Hussein’s Iraq and became the main advocate of internal government invasion. When Saddam’s rapid military victory turned into a fierce counter-insurgency, he endured a lot of criticism, and Rumsfeld did not plan adequately.
Rumsfeld’s family said: “We are deeply saddened to share the news of the death of American politician, loyal husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather Donald Rumsfeld.”
“History may remember him for his extraordinary achievements in 6 years of public service, but for those who know him best and will change their lives forever, we will remember his determination to his wife Joyce, family and friends. The love of Yi, and the integrity he brings to a life dedicated to the country,” the family added.
Bush described Rumsfeld as a “smart, upright, and almost inexhaustible man”, adding: “He never pales before making difficult decisions, and never shirks responsibility.”
Bush added: “He is a loyal steward of our armed forces, and the United States is safer and better at serving him.”
U.S. Navy veteran and Princeton University graduate, Rumsfeld In the 1960s, he served as a Republican member of Congress for three terms in Illinois, then resigned from Congress and joined Richard Nixon’s White House, where he served as director of the Office of Economic Opportunity and presidential adviser. Nixon later appointed Rumsfeld as the U.S. Ambassador to NATO in Brussels.
After Nixon resigned due to the Watergate scandal, Rumsfeld returned to Washington and served as the White House Chief of Staff for Nixon’s successor, Gerald Ford. His deputy in that position is Dick Cheney, and he will form a lifelong alliance with the old Republicans. In 1975, Ford appointed Rumsfeld as Secretary of Defense, which he held until 1977.
Rumsfeld then worked in the private sector for decades, including eight years as the CEO of the pharmaceutical company GD Searle & Company, and four years as the chairman of Gilead Sciences, another American pharmaceutical company.
Rumsfeld returned to Washington in 2001, when Bush appointed him again as US Secretary of Defense.