Donald Rumsfeld

(Donald Henry Rumsfeld)

Donald Rumsfeld
Donald Rumsfeld
  • Born: July 9, 1932
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: Politician









Donald Henry Rumsfeld is a retired American political figure and businessman. Rumsfeld served as Secretary of Defense from 1975 to 1977 under Gerald Ford, and again from January 2001 to December 2006 under George W. Bush. He is both the youngest and the second-oldest person to have served as Secretary of Defense. Additionally, Rumsfeld was a three-term U.S. Congressman from Illinois (1963–1969), Director of the Office of Economic Opportunity (1969–1970), Counsellor to the President (1969–1973), the United States Permanent Representative to NATO (1973–1974), and White House Chief of Staff (1974–1975). Between his terms as Secretary of Defense, he was a highly successful businessman, serving as the CEO and chairman of several companies.

Quotes About
Author Quote
Lawrence Wilkerson What I saw was a cabal between the vice president of the United States, Richard Cheney, and the secretary of defense, Donald Rumsfeld, on critical issues that made decisions that the bureaucracy did not know were being made. Now it is paying the consequences of making those decisions in secret, but far more telling to me is America is paying the consequences.
Lawrence Wilkerson I see them as messianic advocates of American power from one end of the globe, much as the Jacobins in France were messianic advocates of the French Revolution. I don't care whether utopians are Vladimir Lenin on a sealed train to Moscow or Paul Wolfowitz. You're never going to bring utopia, and you're going to hurt a lot of people in the process.
Ted Kennedy In baseball it’s three strikes and you’re out. What is it for the Secretary of Defense? …. Isn’t it time for you to resign.
John Murtha If Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and George W. Bush had ever been in combat themselves, they might not have sent troops to Iraq.
Richard Nixon The only things that matter in the world are Japan and China, Russia and Europe. Latin America doesn’t matter…. And … there’s nothing you can do about the Middle East.
Anonymous The parrot on Rumsfeld’s shoulder.
Henry A. Kissinger Donald Rumsfeld is the rottenest person I have known in government
Anonymous Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz are saying, “We can’t tell you how long it will take, or what it will cost, that’s unknowable.” Why did Congress accept that?
Richard L. Armitage They wanted to disavow the Powell doctrine
Paul D. Eaton For his failures, Rumsfeld must go!
Henry Hugh Shelton If you fire him, you get two for the price of one.
Jack Cafferty … an obnoxious jerk and war criminal
Melvyn P. Leffler Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld did not invent preemptive and preventive wars; they have a long history in U. S. foreign policy.
Gerald R. Ford Rumsfeld and Cheney and the President made a big mistake in justifying going into the war in Iraq. They put the emphasis on weapons of mass destruction. And now, I've never publicly said I thought they made a mistake, but I felt very strongly it was an error…
Richard Norton Smith Donald Rumsfeld and Nelson Rockefeller were put on this planet to piss each other off.
Quote Topics Cited
… you go to war with the army you have, not the army you might want or wish to have at a later time. Military & Veterans
A plan must have the assumptions specified. Management & Managing Government
Avoid both infatuation with or resentment of the press. Media, Journalism & The Press
Be able to resign. It will improve your value to the President and do wonders for your performance. Detriments & Qualifications ;Public Office: Benefits
Congress, the press, and the bureaucracy too often focus on how much money or effort is spent, rather than whether the money or effort actually achieves the announced goal. Money, Coins & Minting ;Management & Managing Government
Don’t divide the world into “them” and “us.” Intergovernmental Relations ;Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
Don’t do or say things you would not like to see on the front page of the Washington Post. Media, Journalism & The Press
Each time a foe is defeated in one corner of the world, another appears elsewhere. Defense & National Security ;Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
Executors need to be involved in the planning Leaders & Leadership
History is not made of up major media headlines and daily blogs and attacks. History
Human beings can do some God-awful things to other human beings Human Nature
I know that I don’t know. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
If people are determined to kill men women and children, they can do it. Miscellaneous
I'm not into this detail stuff. I'm more concepty. Management & Managing Government
It is easier to get into something than to get out of it. Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
It’s less important to have unanimity than it is making the right decisions and doing the right thing, even though at the outset it might be loathsome. Military & Veterans
It’s not the plans, it’s the people. I think we should have Defense Department people. Intergovernmental Relations
It's a difficult thing today to be informed about our government even without all the secrecy. Secrecy & Transparency
Learn to say, “I don’t know.” Media, Journalism & The Press
People are fungible. You can have them here or there. Miscellaneous
Success tends to go not to the person who is error-free, because he also tends to be risk-averse. Miscellaneous
The Constitution calls for civilian control of the military and I am a civilian. Constitution / Bills & Declaratiobns of Rights
The mission defines the coalition. Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
The only stupidities that are not easily solved are those created by very intelligent men. Management & Managing Government
The U. S. Government operates like a five and dime store in an Ebay world. Media, Journalism & The Press
The war on terror is a struggle that will last for generations. Terrorism
There are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns – the ones we don’t know we don’t know. Intelligence, Spying, Espionage & Covert Operations
Think of the prelude to World War Two. Think of all the countries that said, well, we don’t have enough evidence. I mean, Mein Kampf had been written. Hitler had indicated what he intended to do. The people who argued for waiting for more evidence have to ask themselves how they are going to feel at that point where another event occurs. War & Peace
This is a picture of one of their mosques, They have a number of religious instruments. Rocket propelled grenades and AK47s. That’s what they do in their mosques. War & Peace
We don’t have any metrics on that. Miscellaneous
We know they have weapons of mass destruction. We know they have active programs. There isn’t any debate about it. Intelligence, Spying, Espionage & Covert Operations
Weakness is provocation. Defense & National Security
When you are responsible for telling the truth, you must take the time to find out what the truth is…. To find out the truth takes weeks. It takes only 5 minutes for a wrong message to travel around the entire globe. Public Relations & Image
Who likes surprises? Nobody I know likes surprises. But facts change on the ground. War & Peace
You can not have an omnipotent position of leadership and not be controversial. Leaders & Leadership
You could put it that way if you wanted to cause people concern. On the other hand, you could report it as I said it. Media, Journalism & The Press
You’ve got two people working for you – Warrick and (Meghan) O’Sullivan – that you need to get rid of. Intergovernmental Relations
Amidst all the clutter, beyond all the obstacles, aside from all the static, are the goals set. Put your head down, do the best job possible, let the flak pass, and work towards those goals. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
Arguments of convenience lack integrity and inevitably trip you up.
Be precise. A lack of precision is dangerous when the margin of error is small.
Be yourself. Follow your instincts. Success depends, at least in part, on the ability to 'carry it off.' Success
Death has a tendency to encourage a depressing view of war. Death ;War & Peace
Don't automatically obey Presidential directives if you disagree or if you suspect he hasn't considered key aspects of the issue.
Don't be a bottleneck. If a matter is not a decision for the President or you, delegate it. Force responsibility down and out. Find problem areas, add structure and delegate. The pressure is to do the reverse. Resist it.
Don't blame the boss. He has enough problems.
Don't divide the world into 'them' and 'us.' Avoid infatuation with or resentment of the press, the Congress, rivals, or opponents. Accept them as facts. They have their jobs and you have yours.
Don't do or say things you would not like to see on the front page of The Washington Post.
Don't necessarily avoid sharp edges. Occasionally they are necessary to leadership. Leaders & Leadership
Don't say 'the White House wants.' Buildings can't want.
Don't speak ill of your predecessors or successors. You didn't walk in their shoes.
Don't think of yourself as indispensable or infallible. As Charles De Gaulle said, the cemeteries of the world are full of indispensable men.
Enjoy your time in public service. It may well be one of the most interesting and challenging times of your life. Life ;Time
First rule of politics: you can't win unless you're on the ballot. Second rule: If you run, you may lose. And, if you tie, you do not win. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
I can't tell you if the use of force in Iraq today will last five days, five weeks or five months, but it won't last any longer than that.
I don't do quagmires.
If a prospective Presidential approach can't be explained clearly enough to be understood well, it probably hasn't been thought through well enough. If not well understood by the American people, it probably won't 'sail' anyway. Send it back for further thought.
If in doubt, don't. If still in doubt, do what's right.
If in doubt, move decisions up to the President.
If it were a fact, it wouldn't be called intelligence. War & Peace
If the staff lacks policy guidance against which to test decisions, their decisions will be random.
If you are not criticized, you may not be doing much.
If you develop rules, never have more than ten.
If you foul up, tell the President and correct it fast. Delay only compounds mistakes.
If you try to please everybody, somebody's not going to like it.
Imagine, a September 11 with weapons of mass destruction. It's not 3,000. It's tens of thousands of innocent men, women and children. Women
In our system leadership is by consent, not command. To lead a President must persuade. Personal contacts and experiences help shape his thinking. They can be critical to his persuasiveness and thus to his leadership. Leaders & Leadership
In politics, every day is filled with numerous opportunities for serious error. Enjoy it. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
In the execution of Presidential decisions work to be true to his views, in fact and tone. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
It isn't making mistakes that's critical; it's correcting them and getting on with the principal task.
Know that the amount of criticism you receive may correlate somewhat to the amount of publicity you receive.
Learn to say 'I don't know.' If used when appropriate, it will be often.
Leave the President's family business to him. You will have plenty to do without trying to manage the First Family. They are likely to do fine without your help. Business, Commerce & Finance ;Families, Children & Parenting
Let your family, staff, and friends know that you're still the same person, despite all the publicity and notoriety that accompanies your position. Families, Children & Parenting
Look for what's missing. Many advisors can tell a President how to improve what's proposed or what's gone amiss. Few are able to see what isn't there.
Make decisions about the President's personal security. He can overrule you, but don't ask him to be the one to counsel caution.
Many people around the President have sizeable egos before entering government, some with good reason. Their new positions will do little to moderate their egos. Government
Members of the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate are not there by accident. Each managed to get there for some reason. Learn what it was and you will know something important about them, about our country and about the American people.
Oh my goodness gracious, what you can buy off the Internet in terms of overhead photography. A trained ape can know an awful lot of what is going on in this world, just by punching on his mouse, for a relatively modest cost.
One of your tasks is to separate the 'personal' from the 'substantive.' The two can become confused, especially if someone rubs the President wrong.
Our task, your task... is to try to connect the dots before something happens. People say, 'Well, where's the smoking gun?' Well, we don't want to see a smoking gun from a weapon of mass destruction.
Plan backwards as well as forward. Set objectives and trace back to see how to achieve them. You may find that no path can get you there. Plan forward to see where your steps will take you, which may not be clear or intuitive.
Politics is human beings; it's addition rather than subtraction. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
Preserve the President's options. He may need them.
Presidential leadership needn't always cost money. Look for low- and no-cost options. They can be surprisingly effective. Leaders & Leadership ;Money, Coins & Minting
Prune - prune businesses, products, activities, people. Do it annually.
Public servants are paid to serve the American people. Do it well.
Reduce the layers of management. They put distance between the top of an organization and the customers.
Reduce the number of lawyers. They are like beavers - they get in the middle of the stream and dam it up.
Remember where you came from.
Secretary Powell and I agree on every single issue that has ever been before this administration except for those instances where Colin's still learning. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
See that the President, the Cabinet and staff are informed. If cut out of the information flow, their decisions may be poor, not made, or not confidently or persuasively implemented.
Simply because you do not have evidence that something exists does not mean that you have evidence that it doesn't exist.
Test ideas in the marketplace. You learn from hearing a range of perspectives. Consultation helps engender the support decisions need to be successfully implemented.
The Federal Government should be the last resort, not the first. Ask if a potential program is truly a federal responsibility or whether it can better be handled privately, by voluntary organizations, or by local or state governments. Government
The price of being close to the President is delivering bad news. You fail him if you don't tell him the truth. Others won't do it. Truth
The Secretary of Defense is not a super General or Admiral. His task is to exercise civilian control over the Department for the Commander-in-Chief and the country.
The way to do well is to do well.
There are a lot of people who lie and get away with it, and that's just a fact.
There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don't know we don't know.
Think ahead. Don't let day-to-day operations drive out planning.
Treat each federal dollar as if it was hard earned; it was - by a taxpayer.
Visit with your predecessors from previous Administrations. They know the ropes and can help you see around some corners. Try to make original mistakes, rather than needlessly repeating theirs.
When asked for your views, by the press or others, remember that what they really want to know is the President's views.
When cutting staff at the Pentagon, don't eliminate the thin layer that assures civilian control.
When you raise issues with the President, try to come away with both that decision and also a precedent. Pose issues so as to evoke broader policy guidance. This can help to answer a range of similar issues likely to arise later.
With the press there is no 'off the record.'
Work continuously to trim the White House staff from your first day to your last. All the pressures are to the contrary. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
You will launch many projects, but have time to finish only a few. So think, plan, develop, launch and tap good people to be responsible. Give them authority and hold them accountable. Trying to do too much yourself creates a bottleneck. Time
Your performance depends on your people. Select the best, train them and back them. When errors occur, give sharper guidance. If errors persist or if the fit feels wrong, help them move on. The country cannot afford amateur hour in the White House.
You're thinking of Eurpoe as Germany and France. I don't. I think that's old Europe.