Future of Rumsfeld's reforms debated

Nov. 13, 2006 at 12:49 PM
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WASHINGTON, Nov. 13 (UPI) -- A debate is under way in Washington over the success of U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's efforts to modernize the U.S. military.

From the Brookings Institution to military think tanks, experts are weighing in on whether Rumsfeld's transformation succeeded, The Christian Science Monitor reported Monday.

"Rumsfeld made an impressive start," Executive Director Andrew Krepinevich of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, told the Monitor. "He set out to restructure global basing posture and succeeded. He enlarged special operations. We have a strong precision-strike capability now."

Rumsfeld envisioned a military powered by information and relied on technology to deliver a more effective, more dominant and more connected armed forces.

"He was telling the (armed) services: 'You have to have a new operating mentality,'" Peter Singer, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, said to the newspaper.

But Loren Thompson of the Lexington Institute predicted Rumsfeld's achievements will be discredited.

"He was so preoccupied with transformation and wrong about Iraq, I don't think most of his concepts will be realized," said Thompson.

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