Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, architect of an unpopular war in Iraq, is stepping down as Secretary of Defense, President Bush announced today. Bush said he is nominating Robert Gates, former head of the CIA, to replace Rumsfeld.
This is why.
Over one million U.S. servicemen and servicewomen have now completed a tour of duty in Iraq.
The true cost to America as a nation, not just the government, of the invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq is now in excess of 2 trillion dollars.
Nearly 3,000 of those who have served are dead, tens of thousands have been wounded, many will suffer severe disabilities for the remainder of their lives.
Iraq is in shambles and has been teetering on the brink of civil war for over a year now.
Over 5% of the Iraqi population has been killed or displaced, yet the insurgency continues.
Much more than the resignation of Donald Rumsfeld will be required to repair the damage to American pride and prestige, both at home and abroad.
Nothing we can do now will repair Iraq.
We should leave.
We won’t. This is why.
The headline yesterday also read:
President Bush tapped former CIA director Robert Gates to lead the Pentagon on Wednesday, as Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld resigned following a blow to Republicans and Bush in mid-term …
Tapped indeed. Can you say Iran/Contra?
While 41 was POTUS, Robert Gates, served as the director of central intelligence in the early ‘90s, a former deputy national security adviser, currently president of Texas A &M University.
“I think that frankly one of the powers, whether it’s a national intelligence director or a strengthened director of central intelligence, what’s important is that the director or whoever is in charge have the power to execute the budget that he’s given, in other words the power to move money and people around the entire intelligence community to deal with the highest priority issues, and that he, and that the leaders of those agencies know that he is the one to whom they are accountable and that he can hire them and that he can fire them.”
~Robert Gates, 2004 interview regarding the 911 Commission recommendations for overhauling the intelligence community.
Sometimes one gets what one recommends.
With a 600 billion dollar military budget projected for 2007, Mr. Gates, should he be confirmed as Secretary of Defense, will have more of what he recommended in this interview than anybody on the planet, with the exception of course of President Bush himself.
Bob Gates is one of James Baker’s best friends.
Are we headed for a kinder, gentler America?
A balkanized Iraq is looking like a near certainty.