Not since Robert McNamara has a secretary of defense been so hated by the military and derided by the public, yet played such a critical role in national security policy—with such disastrous results.
Donald Rumsfeld was a natural for secretary of defense, a position he'd already occupied once before. He was smart. He worked hard. He was skeptical of the status quo in military affairs and dedicated to high-tech innovations. He seemed the right man at the right time-but history was to prove otherwise.
Now Dale Herspring, a political conservative and lifelong Republican, offers a nonpartisan assessment of Rumsfeld's impact on the U.S. military establishment from 2001 to 2006, focusing especially on the Iraq War-from the decision to invade through the development and execution of operational strategy and the enormous failures associated with the postwar reconstruction of Iraq.
Extending the critique of civil-military relations he began in The Pentagon and the Presidency, Herspring highlights the relationship between the secretary and senior military leadership, showing how Rumsfeld and a handful of advisers—notably Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith—manipulated intelligence and often ignored the military in order to implement their policies. And he demonstrates that the secretary's domineering leadership style and trademark arrogance undermined his vision for both military transformation and Iraq.
Herspring shows that, contrary to his public deference to the generals, Rumsfeld dictated strategy and operations—sometimes even tactics—to prove his transformation theories. He signed off on abolishing the Iraqi army, famously refused to see the need for a counterinsurgency plan, and seemed more than willing to tolerate the torture of prisoners. Meanwhile, the military became demoralized and junior officers left in droves.
Rumsfeld's Wars revisits and reignites the concept of "arrogance of power," once associated with our dogged failure to understand the true nature of a tragic war in Southeast Asia. It provides further evidence that success in military affairs is hard to achieve without mutual respect between civilian authorities and military leaders—and offers a definitive case study in how not to run the office of secretary of defense.
|Sold by:||SIMON & SCHUSTER|
|File size:||7 MB|
About the Author
Table of Contents
|Chapter 1||Rumsfeld Declares War||1|
|Chapter 2||Toppling the Taliban and Saddam, Too||29|
|Chapter 3||Rumsfeld the Man||63|
|Chapter 4||Rumsfeld Returns||91|
|Chapter 5||Rumsfeld the Manager||111|
|Chapter 6||Combating Future Threats||145|
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
To anyone that has truly studied this book, it is clear there is much information-gathering, data analysis, and decision-making taking place that the media and the general public are not privy to, as it should be. Rumsfeld is intelligent and passionate about defending his country and he served us, at our elected President's request, with honor and dignity. An excellent read and highly recommended.
Ask anyone who was there. Rumsfeld was a micromanaging loser who punished the general officers he should have listened to and rewarded the ones who rolled over. As the facts continue to emerge, the outrage of the American people will render the all-volunteer military obsolete.
This was a good read. Lots of information. Definitely worth bumping to the top of your reading list.
How can the American people ever believe anything this man says or anything written about him? His command of our country has been a disgrace and this book, inadvertantly, proves that point. I'm sick of this country, and this man is why. See you in Canada.
The book is very well written and uses documentable facts and secret documents to illustrate Rumsfeld's internal head-butting with his colleagues in the Bush staff. The conflicts in point of view arose because of his attempts to show us (and the rest of the world) that a new enemy had forced us to find a new way for engaging in military conflicts, and for the war on terror. Like him or not, Rumsfeld is a brilliant and inquisitive mind, who is not afraid to go against the grain to both prove his point, and to protect this nation. Rowan Scarborough provided depth views, to many of the public 'issues' that were only covered on the surface by the media.