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Authors: Donald Rumsfeld

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The Defense Department made some well-intentioned but ill-fated attempts to compete in this arena. CENTCOM, for example, working closely with the Iraqi government and the U.S. embassy, sought to provide accurate information to the Iraqi people in the face of an aggressive campaign of disinformation by providing accurate news stories for local Iraqi papers. Yet when it was reported that the Pentagon had hired a contractor who in turn compensated our Iraqi allies for printing truthful stories, critics and the press portrayed this as inappropriate government propaganda. The program was immediately brought to a halt.

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Human Rights Watch reported that “Uzbek government forces killed hundreds of unarmed people who participated in a massive public protest in the eastern Uzbek city of Andijan. The scale of this killing was so extensive, and its nature was so indiscriminate and disproportionate, that it can best be described as a massacre…. One group of fleeing protesters was literally mowed down by government gunfire.” Amnesty International called the uprising a “mass killing of civilians” and denounced the Uzbek government's “indiscriminate and disproportionate use of force.”
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Indeed, this is exactly what happened. The Uzbek minister of defense, who had helped forge military-to-military ties with our country since 2001, was put on trial and kept under house arrest. Gulyamov had been a staunch representative of Uzbek interests, but he was also a cooperative partner in America's efforts in Afghanistan.

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The Cedar Revolution occurred contemporaneously with other pro-democratic changes in the world. In the months After the felling of Saddam Hussein, so-called color revolutions brought reform-minded, pro-Western leaders to power in Ukraine, Georgia, and Kyrgyzstan. These democratic changes demonstrated the practical and moral value of President Bush's efforts to spread freedom. Still, as I saw it, democracy and human rights promotion were among several important interests we had to consider in our foreign policy.

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China may one day regret its position if Japan, South Korea, or Taiwan decides to pursue nuclear weapons to counter the North Korean threat.

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I later was told that the soldier's question had been planted by a Tennessee news reporter who had been embedded with the unit. The source of the question was of little importance—it was a critical issue regarding the safety of our troops, and I did my best to answer it fully.

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Shortly after White joined the Bush administration, Enron filed one of the biggest bankruptcies in American history and became a symbol of corruption in corporate America. White became a target by some who thought he had benefited at the expense of the shareholders and employees who were left penniless. Throughout the controversy I had fended off calls for White to be fired, since to my knowledge he had not done anything illegal.

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To my knowledge, Bremer had raised the question of U.S. troop levels only once before. In May 2003, before he even arrived in Baghdad, he sent me a copy of a study that reviewed the numbers of forces deployed in previous postwar conflicts. Bremer later backed offhis claim that his May 2003 memo was as emphatic on the need for higher troop levels as had been advertised. Bremer admitted, “What I said was I think this is an interesting report and you ought to take it into account. I didn't ask for more troops. I hadn't even been to Iraq.”
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Bremer's memory of the exchange is different than my records. “I did not hear back from him,” Bremer wrote in his memoir. I did in fact send Bremer a response, dated May 24, 2004. “I received your memo and I thank you,” I wrote. “Attached is a classified copy of the memo I sent to Dick Myers as a follow-up to your thoughts.”
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Having Iraqis defend Iraqis was not only the right strategic course, it was a far more efficient option than using U.S. forces. I had the Defense Department's comptroller, Tina Jonas, calculate the costs of recruiting, training, equipping, and deploying an American, an Iraqi, and an Afghan soldier. She reported that the cost of training and deploying one American soldier, approximately $107,000 per year, equaled the cost of training and deploying fifty-nine Afghan soldiers at $1,800 each or sixteen Iraqis at $6,500 each.
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Petraeus was not the only general officer our team of four would recommend to the President for promotion who would go on to have successful careers. Generals Dave Barno, Stan McChrystal, Pete Chiarelli, Thomas Metz, Martin Dempsey, and Ray Odierno would all have a lasting imprint on the U.S. military.

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There were persuasive arguments in 2002 and 2003 that the total number of the Afghan National Army be kept below seventy thousand, in that estimates indicated that the Afghan government would not be able to pay the annual costs for an army of a larger size. There was also little violence across the country.
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Though initially section 1206 was granted as a “special contingency authority” and a “pilot program,” the Obama administration and Defense Secretary Robert Gates have continued to support and defend the law, although some continue to fight a rearguard action against it.
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By August 2006, after a major effort, the percentage of non-military personnel in the Afghan PRTs had increased from 2 percent to a disappointing 3 percent.
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Some weeks later I recruited Vickers to come to the entagon as the assistant secretary of defense for special operations and low-intensity conflict; he remained in the post and became undersecretary of defense for intelligence during the Obama administration.

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I let General Casey know that “the late request to keep the Stryker Brigade in Iraq has been unfortunate…. We have to do a better job looking around corners to the extent it is humanly possible.” Casey responded that he agreed. “As I mentioned to you on the VTC, I tried very hard not to extend them,” Casey continued. “But as the security situation in Baghdad continued to deteriorate, it became apparent to us in our planning that the Iraqi Security Forces and Government did not have the ability to make a decisive impact on the Baghdad situation in the near term without more help from us. Extending the Strykers became an opportunity to make a decisive impact in Baghdad at a critical point for the new government and in our mission.”
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Some analysts and pundits cited Lincoln's decision to remove General McClellan as a template for President Bush. The analogy was flawed. Lincoln had given orders to McClellan that McClellan refused to obey. He was insubordinate to the commander in chief. That was certainly not the case in Iraq. Abizaid and Casey were not defying President Bush. They were carrying out a policy that the President, General Pace, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and I had supported. The generals offered us their best advice and the President and I took it.

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Another loop was closed the day after my resignation, when I traveled to Manhattan, Kansas, to deliver the Landon Lecture at Kansas State University. Joyce and I were met by retired General and Kansas native Dick Myers and his wife, Mary Jo. Joyce and I felt good to be back in the Midwest and out of Washington, D.C.—we were at peace and knew the events of the past few days were for the best. Myers made some moving and gracious remarks about our service together. He recalled I used to joke that I spent more time with him than with Joyce.
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It is worth noting, however, that before the surge's success was known, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid declared it a failure, and noted, “[T]his war is lost.” Senator Barack Obama also expressed concern that the surge would not succeed.
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