USA | The mastermind of the 2003 Iraq invasion has died
Defence Redefined
Published on 01/07/2021 at 09:20

Donald Rumsfeld, the former powerful US Defence Secretary under the presidency of George Walker Bush, the “hawk” of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, has died at the age of 88 in the State of New Mexico, his family announced today.

A retired Navy pilot, Donald Rumsfeld was the forerunner of the war in Afghanistan in the fall of 2001, following the 9/11 attacks, and the mastermind of the 2003 Iraq invasion.

“He may go down in history for his outstanding achievements during six decades of public service,” but “those who knew him best” will remember his unwavering love for his wife, Joyce, family and friends, and his integrity dedicated to his country,” his relatives underlined in the announcement.

“The United States is safer,” said Donald Rumsfeld, a spokesman for former President George W. Bush, following the announcement of his death.

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“We mourn an exemplary public servant, a very good man,” Bush said. The rapid overthrow of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan gave Rumsfeld great strength in the Bush administration, but his reputation was tarnished by the stagnation of the US military in Iraq and the revelation of the Abu Ghraib scandal in April 2004.

Photographs of Iraqi detainees tortured and humiliated by US troops inside Abu Ghraib prison have sparked worldwide outrage. Many historians and military experts have blamed Rumsfeld for his decisions that led to the chaos that followed the US invasion of Iraq.

Rumsfeld himself personally authorized harsh interrogation techniques for prisoners. The US-led treatment of detainees in Iraq and foreign terror suspects at the US naval prison Guantanamo Bay has sparked international condemnation, with human rights defenders and others stressing that the detainees were tortured.

Donald Rumsfeld led the Pentagon from 1975 to 1977 and then from 2001 to 2006. In his first term, he became the youngest US Secretary of Defence, and with his return to the post in 2001, he became the oldest to lead the American Pentagon.

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Source: CNA



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