He was 88 years old. The family announced it in a note posted on Twitter on the official account of the politician
Donald Rumsfeld, the two-time US Secretary of Defense, died at 88 at his home in Taos, New Mexico, of multiple myeloma. Rumsfeld was first secretary of defense for Gerald Ford and then for George W. Bush, presiding de facto in America’s strategies during the Cold War in the 1970s and then in the war on terror with the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. An iron ally of former Vice President Dick Cheney, Rumsfeld was considered – in the Bush administration years – to be the most powerful defense secretary since Robert McNamara’s time during the Vietnam War. How McNamara launched into a costly and divisive war, the one in Iraq, which ultimately destroyed his political career. But unlike McNamara, who publicly apologized, Rumsfeld never made a mea culpa and even branded leaving Iraq as a mistake. “The conclusion our enemies will draw is that the United States does not have the determination to carry out their missions that require sacrifice and patience,” he said of the war in Iraq. Not even years later, in 2011, in the memoir Know and Unknown, did he show any regret about the decision to invade Iraq, a war that cost the United States $ 700 billion and cost 4,400 human lives. In his opinion, in fact, the removal of Saddam Hussein justified the effort: “Liberating the region from Saddam’s brutal regime has created a more stable and secure world,” he wrote. With Cheney, Rumsfeld was one of the architects of Bush’s wars in the Middle East triggered by the 9/11 attacks. Rumsfeld was already a seasoned politician when he was appointed by Bush in 2001. During the 1970s he became, with Ford, the youngest secretary of defense in history at just 43 years old. At the end of his term in the Bush administration, he was the oldest to have held the post. His figure with Iraq became particularly criticized with the torture scandals at Abu Ghraib in Iraq and Guantanamo, while the United States had found no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Right under his gaze, what many observers defined as “torture” in the super prison in Cuba took place: according to rumors, it was he who authorized the harsh interrogation tactics. He also attracted a lot of criticism for his unhappy jokes: Faced with the worldwide outrage for the looting of Baghdad after the fall of the regime in April 2003, Rumsfeld dismissed it all with a joke: “Things that happen”. Patriarch George HW Bush also criticized him, calling him an “arrogant” who caused damage to America and who, along with the other hawk Cheney, would have ruined his son’s legacy. George W. Bush fired him in 2006, by which time he had become a political weight for his administration.