Donald Rumsfeld, who served as former United States President George W Bush’s defence secretary and was the architect of the US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, has died at the age of 88, his family introduced on Wednesday.

His stint as Bush’s defence secretary from 2001-2006 was his 2nd, right after serving as the youngest secretary of defense in US record below previous President Gerald Ford from 1975-1977.

Rumsfeld “was surrounded by spouse and children in his beloved Taos, New Mexico”, his loved ones reported in a statement posted on Twitter, with out saying when he died. “We will recall his unwavering appreciate for his wife Joyce, his household and mates, and the integrity he brought to a life focused to region,” they mentioned.

In a independent statement, Bush praised Rumsfeld as “a male of intelligence, integrity, and pretty much inexhaustible energy” who “never paled before hard selections, and by no means flinched from responsibility”.

But a lot of observers responded to the news of Rumsfeld’s passing on Wednesday by pointing out his central job in the US invasions of Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003, the fatalities of hundreds of folks in both countries, and the use of torture.

Iyad el-Baghdadi, president of the Kawaakibi Basis, a analysis and activist team centered on liberty in the Arab planet, explained “Donald Rumsfeld was a war prison who presided around unlawful wars that concerned wholesale massacres of civilians, systemic torture and plunder, and massive corruption”.

“The place he helped crack has however not recovered. This is his legacy. May well he burn in hell for all eternity.”

Rumsfeld oversaw the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 and the 2003 overthrow of Saddam Hussein in Iraq, but failed to keep regulation and order in the aftermath, and Iraq descended into chaos with a bloody rebellion and violence amongst Sunni and Shia Muslims. US troops remained in Iraq right up until 2011, extended right after he still left his put up.

Many historians and army industry experts blamed Rumsfeld for decisions that led to complications in Iraq and Afghanistan. For instance, Rumsfeld insisted on a relatively compact invasion force in Iraq in 2003, rejecting the views of several generals. The force was then insufficient to stabilise Iraq when Hussein’s authorities fell.

As he did in Iraq, Rumsfeld, in 2001, sent a smaller force to Afghanistan, speedily chased the Taliban from electricity and then failed to build regulation and buy or capture Osama bin Laden, who remained elusive for an additional decade.

Iraq War

Rumsfeld performed a main job before the war in Iraq, in building the situation to the globe for the March 2003 invasion. He warned of the risks of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction but no these weapons had been at any time learned.

Critics faulted Rumsfeld for dismissing the pre-invasion assessment of the US Army’s prime standard, Eric Shinseki, that several hundred thousand allied troops would be wanted to stabilise Iraq.

Rumsfeld also was accused of staying sluggish to recognise the emergence of the revolt in 2003 and the danger it posed.

In a 2011 job interview with Al Jazeera, Rumsfeld was questioned about whether the first sizing of the Iraq invasion pressure and the Bush administration guidelines regarding the war had been “responsible for the killing of innocent Iraqis”.

“You hold earning assertions which are fundamentally phony,” a combative Rumsfeld responded. “No 1 in the Pentagon claimed they (number of troops) were being not more than enough.”

The wars in Iraq killed hundreds of thousands, which include tens of 1000’s of US military services customers. The full amount of Iraqi civilian fatalities is mysterious. The Iraq Human body Count venture locations the amount of deaths considering that 2003 among 185,724 and 208,831, as of June 30.


Rumsfeld also oversaw the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 to eliminate the Taliban leaders who experienced harboured the al-Qaeda leaders liable for the September 11 assaults on the US.

US forces throughout Rumsfeld’s tenure also ended up not able to monitor down Osama bin Laden. The al-Qaeda main slipped previous a modest force of US exclusive functions troops and CIA officers, together with allied Afghan fighters, in the Afghan mountains of Tora Bora in December 2001. US forces killed him in 2011.

Critics have argued that experienced Rumsfeld devoted a lot more troops to the Afghan energy, bin Laden may have been taken. But as he wrote in, Rumsfeld’s Rules, his compilation of truisms dating to the 1970s: “If you are not criticized, you may not be carrying out considerably.”

Rumsfeld 2 times supplied his resignation to Bush in 2004 amid disclosures that US troops experienced abused detainees at Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison – an episode he later on referred to as his darkest hour as secretary of defence.

Not until November 2006, just after Democrats gained control of Congress by driving a wave of antiwar sentiment, did Bush at last come to a decision Rumsfeld had to go. He still left business in December, changed by Robert Gates.