Rumsfeld: Confusion Reigns in Obama Libya Action

By Evan Harris

Mar 27, 2011 9:55am

Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld used the word “confusion” six times in an interview on ABC News’ ‘This Week’ to describe the United Nations-backed military effort in Libya.

“The first thing you have to do,” Rumsfeld told ABC News’ Senior White House Correspondent Jake Tapper, “is recognize…the mission has to determine the coalition. The coalition ought not determine the mission.”

“If you go into something with confusion and ambiguity about what the mission is – and we’ve heard four or five different explanations about why we’re there – and that is the root of the problem. The confusion that comes from that,” Rumsfeld told Tapper on “This Week.”

“Confusion about what the mission is, confusion about who the rebels are, confusion about whether or not Gadhafi should be left in power, confusion about what the command and control should be,” Rumsfeld said.

The former defense secretary, who served in that position under both Presidents Gerald Ford and George W. Bush, told Tapper he thought the coalition involved in the Libya mission did not compare favorably to the coalition President George W. Bush put together to fight the “global war on terror.”

“The coalition that is in place with respect to Libya is the smallest one in modern history,” Rumsfeld said.

“We had over 90 countries in the global war on terror that President Bush and Colin Powell put in place. We had dozens of countries involved in Afghanistan, dozens of countries involved in Iraq. … And still, the Democrats were alleging that it was President Bush was a unilateralist. It’s nonsense,” he insisted.

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