Former U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, one of the leaders of the support for the invasion of Iraq in 2003, recently told a London newspaper the U.S. agenda of creating and supporting a democracy in Iraq was “unrealistic.”
“I’m not one who thinks that our particular template of democracy is appropriate for other countries at every moment of their histories,” the former defense secretary, who served under President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2006, told The Times.
“The idea that we could fashion a democracy in Iraq seemed to me unrealistic. I was concerned about it when I first heard those words,” he told the London-based newspaper.
Rumsfeld’s past comments suggested he supported the U.S.-led invasion to topple the regime of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and search for the suspected weapons of mass destruction in March 2003.
The events that followed, including the loss of thousands of American troops, the further separation of the Sunnis and Shiites, and the financial cost of the war has led to low approval numbers for the invasion and the Bush administration.
Rumsfeld also said the removal of Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi was a “mistake” by the Obama administration, as it led to the destabilization of the Middle East, reported CNN.
Rumsfeld also criticized President Barack Obama for not confronting the increase in Muslim extremists throughout the world, particularly the Islamic State group, which has erased major gains once made by American troops in Iraq, reported Fox New.
“The movement for a caliphate, the movement against nation states is central and fundamental. And no one’s talking about it,” he commented. "If leaders aren’t willing to do it, why the hell should a guy with a wife and kids in the community put himself at risk?”
Photo Credit: Medill DC/Flickr Creative Commons