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Rumsfeld Introduces His Deputy

By Sgt. 1st Class Kathleen T. Rhem, USA
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 2, 2001 – Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld surprised the Pentagon press corps March 1 by dropping by a routine briefing to introduce his newly confirmed deputy.

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Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld (left) and Deputy Defense Secretary-designate Paul Wolfowitz take questions from reporters during a March 1 Pentagon news briefing. Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Kathleen T. Rhem, USA.

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Paul D. Wolfowitz unanimously passed Senate confirmation Feb. 28 and would be sworn in March 2, he announced.

“The people part of this process is a difficult one, and I've been spending an enormous amount of time on it," Rumsfeld said of the top-down department review ordered by President Bush. "Paul is, as you know, now … only the second confirmed person (in DoD); I'm the other."

Wolfowitz has been dean and professor of international relations at the Paul Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. He has twice previously worked in the Pentagon: once in the 1970s and a decade ago as undersecretary of defense for policy in Bush’s father's administration.

Wolfowitz also served on the Ballistic Missile Threat Commission, which Rumsfeld chaired last year.

Wolfowitz described his situation by borrowing from New York Yankees catcher Yogi Berra. "It seems like 'deja vu all over again,'” he said jokingly, then adding, “but in many ways, it's not.

"It is an incredibly different era from either of the previous times. It really is a post-Cold War world,” he said. “We have enormous challenges, I believe, to undertake in both fixing some of the immediate problems of the current force, but also shaping the force for the 21st century.”

Wolfowitz also said he’s glad to be back in DoD because he believes “in the dedication of our men and women in uniform and the fact that they deserve the finest help we can give them.”

Both Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz spoke of their appreciation to Rudy de Leon. De Leon, deputy to former Secretary William Cohen, stayed aboard to assist with the transition from one administration to the next.

“Rudy de Leon has just absolutely been terrific,” Rumsfeld said. “He is a fine deputy secretary, (and) he has been an enormous help to me personally.” Although de Leon will step down when Wolfowitz is sworn in, he is scheduled to stay with DoD for several more weeks as an adviser.

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DoD News Briefing, March 1, 2001

Click photo for screen-resolution imageDefense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld (left) and Deputy Defense Secretary-designate Paul Wolfowitz share a light-hearted moment during a March 1 Pentagon press briefing. Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Kathleen T. Rhem, USA.(  
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