Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, who served under President George W. Bush during the the administration’s troop deployments to both Afghanistan and Iraq has died at the age of 88.
The Associated Press confirmed Rumsfeld’s death with his family. No further details have been released at this point.
Along with Vice President Dick Cheney, Rumsfeld was one of the main architects of Bush’s Middle East wars, triggered by the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, when one of four hijacked airliners crashed into the Pentagon while he was still in the building. Rumsfeld’s job then evolved to include fighting two of the longest wars in U.S. history, during which he was called upon to finesse the administration’s military shortcomings at press conferences.
“Defending against terrorism and other emerging 21st-century threats requires that we take the war to the enemy,” Rumsfeld went on to say in speeches delivered back in 2002.
A former politician and bureaucrat, Rumsfeld was already a seasoned executive when he began his second term in the job as Bush came to power in 2001. During the 1970s, he became the youngest-ever defense secretary, at age 43, in President Gerald Ford’s administration. At the end of his tenure under Bush, he was the oldest American ever to hold the job.
Rumsfeld and his wife had three children, Valerie, Marcy, and Nicholas.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Rumsfeld family during this time of loss.