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Rumsfeld's Rules

Reader comment on item: Who Is the Enemy?

Submitted by Dan Schwartz (United States), Sep 4, 2002 at 11:24

"If a problem cannot be solved, enlarge it." (Dwight D. Eisenhower)
http://www.defenselink.mil/news/Jan2001/rumsfeldsrules.pdf


This seems to be the reply to your paragraph (cited below) about your contention that the former Middle East envoy "seemed troubled by the vagueness of this dangerously ambitious goal." When you look at the Secretary's actions in the context of enlarging the scope of an otherwise intractable problem, it makes complete sense.


ORIGINAL TEXT:

"Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, for one, seemed troubled by the vagueness of this dangerously ambitious goal. At one early point, he dismissed as unrealistic `the idea of eliminating [terrorism] from the face of the earth.' But he proceeded to propose a no less elusive aim. Americans are a freedom-loving people, Rumsfeld said, so the definition of victory was an environment in which they could "in fact fulfill and live those freedoms," and in which others would be prevented "from adversely affecting our way of life." This was admirable, especially the last part, though hardly an objective to hand to a general and say, `Accomplish this.'"
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