Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld dies at 88

Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld dies at 88
1 min read
30 June, 2021
Two-time US defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld died on Tuesday at 88, his family have announced.
Donald Rumsfeld was 88 when he passed away [Getty Images]

Donald Rumsfeld, the two-time defence secretary and one-time presidential candidate whose reputation as a skilled bureaucrat and visionary of a modern U.S. military was soiled by the long and costly Iraq war, died Tuesday, his family said in a statement. He was 88.

Regarded by former colleagues as equally smart and combative, patriotic and politically cunning, Rumsfeld had a storied career under four presidents and nearly a quarter century in corporate America.

In 2001 he began his second tour as Pentagon chief under former president George W. Bush, but his plan to "transform" the armed forces was overshadowed by the September 11 terrorist attacks. He oversaw the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan and the 2003 overthrow of Saddam Hussein in Iraq, where he was blamed for setbacks including the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal and for being slow to recognize a violent insurgency.

Bush mourned Rumsfeld on Wednesday as a "very good man."

"A man of intelligence, integrity, and almost inexhaustible energy, he never paled before tough decisions, and never flinched from responsibility," Bush said in a statement that did not explicitly mention the controversial decision to attack Iraq.