In memo, Rumsfeld called for major change in Iraq policy | ajc.com
In memo, Rumsfeld called for major change in Iraq policy | ajc.com:
Two days before he resigned as defense secretary, Donald Rumsfeld submitted a classified memo to the White House that acknowledged that the Bush administration's strategy in Iraq was not working and called for a major course correction.
"In my view it is time for a major adjustment," wrote Rumsfeld, who has been a symbol of a dogged stay-the-course policy. "Clearly, what U.S. forces are currently doing in Iraq is not working well enough or fast enough."
Rumsfeld's memo suggests frustration with the pace of turning over responsibility to the Iraqi authorities and calls for examination of ideas that roughly parallel troop withdrawal proposals presented by some of the White House's sharpest Democratic critics.
The memo's discussion of possible troop reduction options offers a counterpoint to Rumsfeld's frequent public suggestions that discussions about force levels are driven by requests from U.S. military commanders. Instead, the memo puts on the table several ideas for troop redeployments or withdrawals that appear to conflict with recent public pronouncements from commanders in Iraq emphasizing the need to maintain troop levels.