Rumsfeld memoir defends Iraq policy

Feb. 3, 2011 at 1:29 AM
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WASHINGTON, Feb. 3 (UPI) -- Former U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld admits he made some mistakes but maintains his defense of the invasion of Iraq in his new memoir.

The book, "Known and Unknown," is Rumsfeld's first public look back at the Bush administration since his departure after the 2006 congressional election, The Washington Post reported Wednesday. The book is scheduled to hit bookstores Feb. 8.

Rumsfeld acknowledges he was too free with his tongue, that "stuff happens" was not the best response to the chaos in Baghdad and the dig about "old Europe" was not the best way to get France and Germany to support the invasion.

But he is more critical of others, including the two secretaries of state he dealt with, Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice, L. Paul Bremer, the head of the Coalition Provisional Administration in Iraq, and former even President George W. Bush, the Post reported. The president failed to resolve the arguments between State and Defense before the invasion on how to handle the transition, Rumsfeld said.

"Those key differences were never clearly or firmly resolved in the NSC," Rumsfeld writes. "Only the President could do so."

In the end, Rumsfeld says, the Middle East is better off without Saddam Hussein in power in Iraq.

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