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Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense to President George W. Bush, dead at 88

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Donald Rumsfeld, former Secretary of Defense and pillar of the American administration under George W. Bush, died at the age of 88 in the state of New Mexico, his family announced in a statement on Wednesday, June 30.

Donald Rumsfeld, former hawk and Pentagon chief under George W. Bush, man of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, has died at the age of 88 in the state of New Mexico, his family announced on Wednesday.

Former naval pilot Donald Rumsfeld led the war in Afghanistan in the fall of 2001, after the attacks of September 11, and was the architect of the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

“He may go down in history for his extraordinary accomplishments during six decades of public service” but “those who knew him best will” remember “his unwavering love for his wife Joyce, his family and friends and of the integrity he brought to a life dedicated to his country, “said his relatives in a statement.

The rapid overthrow of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan had given it a strong stature in the Bush administration, but its reputation had been tarnished by the stagnation of the US military in Iraq, and by the exposure of the Abu scandal. Ghraib in April 2004.

Photos of Iraqi prisoners tortured and humiliated by US servicemen in Abu Ghraib prison had sparked global outrage.

Donald Rumsfeld led the Pentagon from 1975 to 1977, then from 2001 to 2006. The first time he was the youngest defense minister, and by his return in 2001 he had become the oldest to lead the Pentagon.

“These six years is a while. It reminds me of Winston Churchill’s statement: ‘I took great advantage of criticism and at no time did I miss it,” “he said in 2006.

Wrestling champion, he was a young representative in Congress, then American Ambassador to NATO (1973-1974), before being Secretary General of the White House under Gerald Ford (1974-75), Secretary of Defense (1975 -77) and candidate for the nomination of the Republican Party for the presidential election of 1988.

With AFP

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