Donald Rumsfeld, two-time U.S. secretary of defense and architect of the invasion of Iraq in 2003, has died at the age of 88, his family said Wednesday.
Although he has spent decades as a congressman and cabinet secretary in several presidential administrations, his legacy was shaped by President George W Bush’s decision to invade Iraq after the terrorist attacks in Iraq. September 11th.
Rumsfeld, who had pledged to attack Saddam Hussein’s Iraq even before meeting the government as Bush’s secretary of defense in 2001, has become the main defender of the invasion in the administration. It brought a lot of criticism when a quick military victory against Saddam turned into a crushing counterinsurgency, for which Rumsfeld had not planned enough.
“It is with deep sadness that we share the news of the past of Donald Rumsfeld, an American American and devoted husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather,” the family said.
“History may remember him for his extraordinary successes of more than six decades of public service, but for those who know him best and whose lives have been changed forever, we will remember his uninterrupted love for his wife Joyce , his family and friends, and the integrity he has brought to a life dedicated to the country, ”the family added.
A U.S. Navy veteran and graduate of Princeton University, Rumsfeld he served three terms as a Republican congressman from Illinois in the 1960s, before resigning from Congress to join Richard Nixon’s White House, where he was director of the Office of Economic Opportunity and advisor. of the president. Nixon later appointed Rumsfeld as U.S. ambassador to NATO in Brussels.
After Nixon resigned following the Watergate scandal, Rumsfeld returned to Washington and worked for Nixon’s successor, Gerald Ford, as White House chief of staff. His replacement in that position was Dick Cheney, who would form a lifelong alliance with the former Republican. In 1975, Ford appointed Rumsfeld secretary of defense, a role he held until 1977.
Rumsfeld then spent several decades in the private sector, including eight years as executive director of GD Searle & Company, a pharmaceutical company, and four years as president of Gilead Sciences, another American pharmacist.
Rumsfeld returned to Washington in 2001, when Bush exploited him to serve once again as secretary of defense for the United States.