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Secretary Rumsfeld White House Radio Days Interviews

Presenter: Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld
January 21, 2004
Secretary Rumsfeld White House Radio Days Interviews

(Interview with Marc Bernier, WNDB, Daytona Beach, Fla.)

 

     Q:  Welcome to the Mark Bernier Show, sir.

 

     Rumsfeld:  Thank you, I'm delighted to be here.

 

     Q:  I have to say one of my prized possessions is a letter from you in [1996], we spoke on the radio and you were stumping for Bob Dole in the private sector working for the Banking institute of Chicago, I think it was.  Were you in the private sector with (Inaudible.)?

 

     Rumsfeld:  William Blair.  Thank you, it's nice to see you.

 

     Q:  You've done a great job.  And I've got to tell you, (Inaudible.).

 

     Rumsfeld:  I like them.  It's been interesting.  They've got tough jobs, and I tease at them a little bit and work them over a little bit, but it's all in good fun.

 

     Q:  Do you have any idea (Inaudible.)? 

 

     Rumsfeld:  Not even the slightest.  I'm still amazed when I wake up and sense that I'm back doing this job after being gone for 25 years.

 

     Sometimes I feel like a gerbil where you run like the dickens and you never get anywhere.

 

     Q:  Mr. Secretary, I could ask you a couple of things here, there is a lot of interest and concern from people in Florida.  Their concerns are now that we’re fighting the war on terrorism –- (Inaudible.)

 

     Rumsfeld:  You're talking about the military?  The morale is excellent.  It is, everywhere I go even in the hospitals with the wounded, the morale of the troops and their families is excellent.  It's good because they believe in what they're doing, they're proud of what they're doing.  They feel that they're well trained and well equipped.

 

     I will say this.  There's a difference between the active forces and the Guard and the Reserve.  The difference is essentially that the Guard and Reserve don't all live in the same town.  They may live in even different states.  In some cases they're being activated not as an entire unit, but only pieces of a unit, so their families are spread around.  So the active force's families are all there, near the base, know each other, and there's excellent communication.  They hear from people, they all are tuned in as to what's happening and when people are likely to come home and how things are going. With the Guard and the Reserve they don't have that network and the communication has not been quite as good.  So we've got to find ways to deal with that issue that the families are disbursed in the Guard and Reserve as opposed to a cohesive whole as in the active force.

 

     Q:  (Inaudible.)

 

     Rumsfeld:  I don't know what the number is, but if you think of all the things we buy and all the things that the armed forces of the United States use, it's somewhat dissimilar, but think of your clothes, think of your watch, think of all the things you have on you just sitting right here.  That's the nature of our world.  We're an interdependent world.  We tend to try to avoid having single suppliers so that we have relief valves that we can use in the event there's a problem with a foreign supplier.  But it's true, that there are reasonably large numbers of things we acquire that are purchased from non-U.S. sources.  Although the first priority has been U.S. sources.

 

     Q:  (Inaudible.)

 

     Rumsfeld:  You're absolutely right.  Of course President Reagan and Secretary Schultz who asked me to become Middle East Envoy after we lost 241 Marines in the Beirut bombing, they knew what Saddam Hussein was, obviously I knew what Saddam Hussein was.  We had a problem with Syria, we had a problem with terrorism.  Iraq was engaged with Iran in a conflict.  It was a perfectly appropriate thing to do.

 

     Your question reminds me of World War II.  Winston Churchill was asked how could he deal with Stalin.  The answer was that he would deal with Stalin because he knew that that would complicate the problem for Adolf Hitler who had conquered most of Western Europe and was then threatening the United Kingdom and sending aircraft over and B-1 and B-2 bombers, and Winston Churchill said “I'd deal with the devil to save England.” That's going a little far, but no.   (Laughter.)

 

     Think about your local police force.  Think of the people they deal with.

 

     Q:  Informants?

 

     Rumsfeld:  You bet.  They have to deal with informants because they want to get the bad guys.  We're doing that today with the problem of terrorism.  We're working with countries all across the globe, many of which don't agree with us on our values, but we're sharing intelligence with them, we're trying to get them to cooperate so that we can track down the al Qaeda and the terrorist networks and stop them from killing more innocent men, women and children.

 

     It's not a perfect world, and if we said the only people we'll deal with are the people that are just like us, we have about 10 or 15 nations out of 180 that we'd be dealing with and that's about all.

 

     Q:  (Inaudible.)

 

     Rumsfeld:  You're quite right.  The global war on terror has a coalition that President Bush has put together of 90 nations -- probably the largest coalition in the history of mankind.  We have 34 countries with troops on the ground in Iraq today -- 34 nations.  That is a lot of countries.  And as you point out, countries like Japan and others that have not been normally willing to put troops in other countries.  So we have a very broad coalition in Afghanistan.  NATO is now running the International Security Assistance Force.  We have dozens of countries that are assisting.

 

     I think the thing that strikes me about your point is A, you're quite right, there are people who get up every day and say we shouldn't have gone it alone.   The only way they can get away with that is if people let them get away with saying that.  In fact the truth is we have a very good, broad deep coalition.

 

     Q:  Last night the President announced that strategies in planning for (Inaudible.)

 

     Rumsfeld:  I think you're right.  I think he did say steady as we go, but we've got a big task ahead of us.  It's not something that's going to go away immediately, and we have to be purposeful and steadfast and we're making progress, no question about that.  We're making progress in Afghanistan and Iraq and the Horn of Africa and in the global war on terror broadly.  It's hard to measure the progress and it's unlikely, if you think of the end of World War II in the Pacific, there was a big signing ceremony on the USS Missouri when the Japanese surrendered.  But that didn't happen, as such, in Afghanistan.  It didn't happen as such in Iraq.  And it's unlikely to happen in the global war on terror because we're dealing with terrorist networks as opposed to nation states, for the most part.  We're dealing with a situation where the enemies, as he said, hide in the shadows and the caves, and we have to find ways to root them out.  That's what we're doing.

 

     Q:  (Inaudible.) talking about what our role is of our forces (Inaudible.)

 

     Rumsfeld:  I don't know what you're making reference to, but the fact of the matter is we've been in discussions with South Korea about our force deployment there and we've allowed as how we've thought it was time after 50 years to make a significant adjustment to those forces and we're going to moving those forces south of the, that are near the demilitarized zone, south of the Han River, south of Seoul, Korea, and we're going to be rearranging them so that we have two hubs.  One in the south as a sea hub and an air hub in the central portion of the South Korean peninsula.

 

     We're in discussions with them now, it's going very well, and we expect those movements to take place over the coming years in one way or another.

 

     Q:  Thank you for being with us.

 

     Rumsfeld:  Thank you.  I appreciate that.  I enjoyed it.

         

     Thank you, Mark.

 

(Interview with Sean Hannity, WABC, New York City, N.Y.)

 

     Q:  We're at the White House, it's Radio Day at the Sean Hannity Show.  Thanks for tuning in.  We're glad you're with us.

 

     Joining us now is the Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

 

     I love what you do with the press.  When they ask a dumb question, you just whack them.  I said if I'm going to interview Don Rumsfeld I am not going to mess around with this interview because I'm dead otherwise.

 

     How are you doing?  I'm a big fan of yours.  I love what you've done for this country and for the cause of liberty, my friend.

 

     Rumsfeld:  Thank you.  I appreciate that.

 

     I must say, life's been good.  I'm healthy, I feel that the work we're doing is important for the country. It’s a delight to work for this President and (Inaudible.).

 

     Q:  I think we're all pretty fortunate.  I don't think there's any doubt about it.

 

     When I listened to the President last night he was talking about not going to the alter of the United Nations before we get approval to go in a conflict.  I'm like every Democratic presidential candidate is saying just the opposite, we need to get their approval first and foremost.  When you hear these guys, what are you thinking?  We need their approval for all of this?

 

     Rumsfeld:  I thought the President’s comments (Inaudible.).

 

     And to say that we're going it alone and that therefore we should turn it over to some other organization like NATO or the United Nations, to me it is dismissing (Inaudible.).

 

     Q:  I'm thinking this doesn't end in our lifetime, either.  Based on the fanaticism of groups like al Qaeda, Hammas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad.  I mean when you think that there are people that think that God's instructed them to slaughter innocent people, you can't have a discussion with such people.  They have to be defeated.

 

     Rumsfeld:  I think two things have to be done.  We have to, as you say, find them and stop them.  You can't just defend against them, there's no way.  A person who's willing to give their life can find a way to attack somebody and kill innocent men, women and children.  So the President's right.  We have to go out and root them out wherever they are, and find those terrorist networks.

 

     The other thing we have to do, however, is to see that we are capturing or killing or dissuading more terrorists or potential terrorists than are being made (Inaudible.) radical madrasas in the world.  That means we've got to get a very broad group of countries to recognize that a group of people teaching terrorism are dangerous to the entire globe.  I think we have to engage in that battle of ideas.

 

     Q:  When you think of these schools that actually teach or train or indoctrinate or brainwash the youth into the destruction of innocence -- The fact that that is so widespread is just an unbelievable thought.  I have a book coming out in a month called "Deliver Us From Evil, Defeating Terrorism, Despotism and Liberalism", because modern liberalism, if it had its way would not have confronted and ultimately deposed people like Saddam Hussein.

 

     Rumsfeld:  Well, I think that you’re right right.  If you think about it, terrorism has become accepted in parts of the world.  It isn't just the Middle East.  There are places in Asia where it's taught as well.

 

     On the other hand, at one point slavery was accepted in the world; piracy was accepted in the world, and over a period of time it became illegitimate in people's eyes.  It is just accepted today that those things are wrong, are not accepted.  We just don't know.  We've got to get to the point where terrorism is seen like that.

 

     Q:  With the changing configuration -- by the way, if you're just joining us the Secretary of Defense Don Rumsfeld is with us.

 

     If you look at areas like North Korea, what would we have done if Saddam militarily had the capacity or capability of Kim Jung Il.  I mean if he had, or at least we think he might have nuclear capabilities.  We could not have handled that situation the same way.

 

     Rumsfeld:  You would not want to create the impression in the world that having nuclear weapons provides immunity.

 

     Q:  That's an interesting way to put it.

 

     Rumsfeld:  To the extent we did we created a (Inaudible.), and I think that a recent example of the situation is Gaddafi. Gaddafi made a conscious decision, as the President said, he and his people would be much safer without them than with them. 

 

     Q:  That's an interesting line.  But you say it doesn't give them immunity.  So one or two or three nuclear weapons does not create a scenario where a maniacal dictator, tyrant, despot, can hold the world hostage.  How would you philosophically deal with such a situation?  It's a lot rougher than what we had in the case of Saddam.

 

     Rumsfeld:  Once you make a decision that you are sufficiently (Inaudible.) that you can be cowed, then your freedom's gone. Therefore free people can't make that decision.  Free people have to make a conscious decision that they will not be (Inaudible.) and they will not thereby entice others into activities that could position them where they (Inaudible.).

 

     Q:  Secretary of Defense Don Rumsfeld is with us.

 

     It's interesting, to put it into the context of Reagan confronting the Soviet Union, calling them an evil empire, challenging Mr. Gorbachev to tear down the Wall, racing away from a bad deal at Reykjavik, using phrases, slogans, peace through strength works (Inaudible.) to verify.  Pretty gutsy, because they did have nuclear weapons and all of them were pointed at us.

 

     Rumsfeld:  Thousands and thousands of nuclear weapons they had.

 

     Q:  But he didn't flinch.

 

     Rumsfeld:  He didn't flinch at all.  Indeed, successive presidents of the allied countries over a period of close to 50 years would be willing to make the investment for improvement, to ask are we willing to make the investments and to deny other things that they would have liked to spend the money on?  And were steadfast.  It was a wonderful example, and we won the Cold War.

 

     Q:  It's interesting, you mentioned government, and if you look at Democrats like FDR, Truman, even JFK perhaps, Scoop Jackson maybe, somebody like that and you make the comparison with modern-day Democrats, with people like John Kerry and Howard Dean.  Howard Dean, if he had his way, the rape rooms, the torture rooms, the pursuit of weapons of mass destruction would have continued with Saddam Hussein because of their unwillingness to confront the evil in that time.  There is almost a classical struggle going on, correct?

 

     Rumsfeld:  There always has been.  You think about it, go back to the pre World War II period.  There were some very honorable people who were involved with America First. They did not want the United States to get involved in deceiving Adolf Hitler, notwithstanding the fact that Hitler was occupying country after country, notwithstanding the fact that he was engaged in a holocaust against the Jews.  It was a classic debate in our country, in the pre World War II period, and it was the attack on Japan, by Japan on Pearl Harbor that brought us in.

 

     Q:  -- didn't want us in at all.  You're right.

 

     I have to say I'm a big fan of your moral clarity, your inner strength and understanding of what appeasement would do for the country.  You have helped defend the freedom throughout most of your adult life and we owe you a debt of gratitude.  It's a pleasure to finally get to interview you.  Please give me a TV interview.

 

     Rumsfeld:  (Laughter.)

 

     Q:  Don Rumsfeld, good to see you.

 

     Rumsfeld:  Thank you so much.  I appreciate your time.

 

(Interview with John Carlson, KVI, Seattle, Wash.)

 

[Tape skip on first part of interview.]

 

     Carlson: -- on September 11, or in Riyadh or in Bali or so many places across the globe --

 

     Rumsfeld:   Well, I don’t know, I can’t speak for the people who have a different view.  But as I look at the American people and the people of the world, if you think about it, we have very broad support for global war on terror here at home. 


     There are 90 nations in the world -- the biggest coalition in the history of mankind is cooperating in the global war on terror.  We have 34 countries helping us in Iraq -- that’s a very broad coalition.  The same thing in Afghanistan. So I feel we are fortunate to have a collection of nations -- it’s not the perfectly predictable collection of nations -- it’s not the nations that fought World War II.  But it’s an important aggregation of countries and they are doing a superb job in my book.

 

     Carlson: (Inaudible.)

 

     Rumsfeld: Oh, sure it is.  We have 34 countries with troops on the ground.  We have other countries assisting with humanitarian assistance and financing and the like.

 

[Tape glitch.]

 

     Carlson: Let’s talk a little bit about the changes to department from your first tour and now.  What’s true then, what’s true today?

 

     Rumsfeld: The civil service system -– we have some 850,000 civil service employees -- and what I found when I arrived back at the Pentagon was that people were being perfectly rational.  When they needed a job done, they were reaching for a person in uniform to do a civilian job.  Why?  Because they could hire them, direct them, put them in place, deploy them (him or her) and change them if it didn’t work out or if the task changed.  If it’s a civil service employee, we don’t manage that system in the Pentagon historically. It’s been managed by the Office of Personnel Management.  It’s so complex and so difficult.  You can’t hire, you couldn’t fire. You can’t deploy. You can’t really direct.  In some offices, there were 4 or 5 different personnel systems for less than 100 employees.  Well, you can’t manage that way.

 

     So people were using contractors and military people.  Well that’s not good for the taxpayers.  We ought to be using military people for military functions -- not civilian functions. We ought to use contractors for things that are appropriate to contractors.  We ought to use civilian civil service employees for things that are appropriate for them.

 

     We have got a new personnel system that we have just gotten through Congress.  And I think it’s going to make a sizable difference and real benefit for the taxpayers and make the Department function better.

 

     Carlson:  (Inaudible.) 

 

     Rumsfeld: Maybe some day. Some day.

 

     Carlson:  (Inaudible.) Now we feel comfortable.  What is our exit strategy?

 

     Rumsfeld: The answer to that question is this: We have trained 200,000 Iraqis for police work, Army, border patrol, sight protection and civil defense work.  They are now the biggest coalition partner.  We have only 125,000 troops there.  The Iraqis have 200,000.  From zero up to 200,000.  We are increasing them and training more and they are going to have to take over responsibility for their own security.  And that’s the exit strategy. 

 

     We need to get their governance so they take over sovereignty sometime this year. And we need to keep them increasing the security forces so they can handle their own security we need to provide some assistance to get them on the path to democracy. I think we are making good headway.

 

     Carlson:  (Inaudible.) When will we know that democracy has taken root?

 

     Rumsfeld:  That’s a good question.  I wish I knew the answer. 

 

     Think of Afghanistan. They don’t have the transition either.  And yet they just had their so called loya jirga -- a very Afghan solution to their problem. They fashioned a constitution which was a compromise just as ours was.  And they are now getting ready for elections this summer. Now that’s impressive. And it’s all been done in two years -- 25 million people have been liberated.  25 million have had a representative process that produced the constitution. And 25 million people in that country are going to have elections this summer and have a reasonably democratic open system. 

 

     That’s something.

 

     Carlson:  (Inaudible.)

 

[Tape malfunction.]

 

(Interview with Jim Villanucci, KKOB, Albuquerque, N.M.)

 

     Q:  -- 30 minutes after the hour.  Jim Villanucci and Richard Ease broadcasting live from the White House.  We're going to be chatting with the 13th and 21st Secretary of Defense of these United States. 

 

     Thank you for joining us, Mr. Rumsfeld.  It's an honor.

 

     Rumsfeld:  Thank you, Jim.

 

     Q:  I see you almost daily suffer some of the inane questions of the mainstream media, I'm going to try to give you a little break from that.

 

     Rumsfeld:  (Laughter.)

 

     Q:  Tell New Mexico about the positives coming out of Iraq and why aren't we seeing it on TV?

 

     Rumsfeld:  I don't know why we don't see it.  But if you think of what's happened since the war ended, the major combat aspect of the war ended and we went into this low intensity conflict period, so many good things have happened.  We've trained and deployed some 200,000 Iraqi Security Forces.  We only have 125,000 forces there.  So there the biggest coalition there. There’s a Central Bank, a new currency, the utilities are functioning, the oil production is higher than pre-war peaks at the present time.  People are doing things.  The refugees are returning back because it's better there than where they were.

 

     So is it perfect?  No.  Is there violence there? Yes.  Are people still being killed?  Yes.  But the progress that's been made has been made so much faster than it was in post-war Germany; the contrast is remarkable.

 

     Q:  You have to make excruciatingly tough life and death decisions on a daily basis.  You know that day you were going through what you know and what you don't know and all that.  As an engineer, I actually understood what you were trying to say.

 

     What is your criteria and thought process for making the right decisions?

 

     Rumsfeld:  Unless you're a Mozart or an Einstein who were so smart they could walk in a room (Inaudible.), all the rest of us: what we do is what we do with other people.  What I do is I get the people that are smarter than I am, that know more than I do about a particular subject and worry it through.

 

     Q:  Who are those people?

 

     Rumsfeld:  Clearly, the Chairman and the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Chief of Staff of the Army, the Chief of Naval Operations, senior political officials, political appointees, policy people in the departments, the senior people in the other departments and agencies.   

 

     Q:  You gather all of these people and you hash it out with them and then you come to a final decision and then you take it to the President?  How does that process run?

 

     Rumsfeld:  My job is to put structure into complicated issues, and deal with the President on the macro issues so that he knows what's going on, so he'll have confidence in the people working in the Department of Defense, with the combatant commanders.  You don't go into a war and not have confidence in your combatant commanders, (Inaudible.) General Tom Franks.

 

     Then we have constant -- it's an iterative process.  We may go back in two or three times and worry things through together.

 

     Q:  Has he ever not taken your advice.  Has he changed things?

 

     Rumsfeld:  He adds value every time we meet.

 

     Q:  What do you like most about this president?

 

     Rumsfeld:  If he says something today he's going to be there a month from now, two months from now, six months from now.

 

     Q:  He's a lot more disciplined than people give him credit for.

 

     Rumsfeld:  Oh, he's a fine executive.  I mean it’s a wonderful thing working with a person who’s been an executive, been a Governor and dealt with delegating authority, not feeling you have to micromanage everything.

 

     Q:  Mr. Secretary, a lot of people Not many people know your history and that you have a house in Taos.  (Inaudible.)  Tell us a little bit about your feelings and attachments to New Mexico.

 

     Rumsfeld:  It's longstanding.  I was a kid in Chicago back in 1948 and '49 and I was an Eagle Scout and I was selected to work inaudible in Cimarron, New Mexico.  I went out there, it was like a whole world opening up.  I'd never see anything like that.

 

     So I went and served in the Navy, went into government, and the first thing I did when I left the Pentagon in 1977 was go out to Taos and Santa Fe and Cimmaron and look around.  It was the first time I'd ever had a job where I made any money, and we bought a place in Taos in 1977.  Our children love it there.  They ski.  Our grandchildren now love it there.  We have a wonderful time. It’s a great state.

 

     Q:  So you ski?

 

     Rumsfeld:  Indeed.

 

     Q:  Does staff travel with you when you get to New Mexico? Does your work schedule affect your time when you’re there? 

 

     Rumsfeld:  Well it does.  There are security people and there are communications people and I work generally half a day or two-thirds of a day while I'm out there, but still it's wonderful being with the children and grandchildren.  I don't feel put upon.  I like work, and I feel fortunate to be able to be involved in an important part time in our country's history.

 

     Q:  Your long and distinguished career, as you maybe reflect back from time to time, do you have any regrets?  Or are you pretty satisfied with what you've done?

 

     Rumsfeld:  Goodness.  I've just had a wonderful life and this is such a great country.  When you think about it, I was able to be a Navy pilot and work in Congress and see the legislative branch, be in the executive branch, and served as Ambassador to NATO.  Then left for a while and was involved with Fortune 500 countries and learning the private sector side.  It is a country of opportunity.  A country where a person can contribute and make.  I just feel fortunate.

 

     Q:  I know we have a tough election coming up and we're not here to talk politics.  We won’t.  We can almost guarantee the state of New Mexico will for President Bush if you’ll do one small favor.

 

     Rumsfeld:  What is it “Go Lobos?”

 

     Q:  Your warming it to it.  (Laughter)

 

     Rumsfeld:  (Laughter.)

 

     Q:  Very close.  We'll deliver the state for you.

 

     Rumsfeld:  Hi, this is Secretary of Defense Don Rumsfeld. I want everyone to be sure to listen to Mike Roberts as the Lobos take on San Diego State.  We're all Lobos fans.  [Applause]

 

     Q:  Thank you very much.  (Laughter.)  Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, rather, Donald Rumsfeld.  Thank you, sir. That was great.

 

(Interview with Tom Sullivan, KFBK, Sacramento, Calif.)

 

     Q:  Welcome back.  We are at the White House and it is, we're just comparing notes with the Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.  Welcome to Northern California, Mr. Secretary.

 

     Rumsfeld:  Thank you.  I'm delighted to be with you.

 

     Q:  You were just saying to me all the different cities and towns that you've lived in and I said you were military, weren't you.  Your father, too?

 

     Rumsfeld:  You bet. My dad was in the Navy (Inaudible.)and of course I was in the Navy (Inaudible.).  It’s been a good life.

 

     Q:  I see one thing in common.  I went through school on an ROTC scholarship and I see you did, too.  It’s a great way to start out.

 

     One of my questions always is to kind of personalize it.  Because the network folks never take time to stop with this stuff, but to personalize it and say where did you grow up?  As a military brat I guess there was no one place.

 

     The reason I wanted to ask that is because when you're talking to people about what it is that the Administration is doing, what this country's doing about whether we go, how we fight terrorism, where we go to war, do you remember -- You've been in Washington a long time, sir.  In 1957 you came here with the Eisenhower Administration.  Do you ever worry about losing connection with the rest of the country?

 

     Rumsfeld:  No, I left (Inaudible.) came back to serve President George W. Bush in 2001.

 

     Q:  So you had a chance to --

 

     Rumsfeld:  (Inaudible.)  (Laughter.)

 

     Q:  Where's home outside of Washington?  Would you consider one place --

 

     Rumsfeld:   I was born in Chicago and I grew up there.  (Inaudible.) North Carolina, Washington, (Inaudible.), Connecticut and all around various place.

 

     Q:  But you've done various things, too.  You're a naval aviator.

 

     Rumsfeld:  Yeah. 

 

     Q:  You'll notice I got that right, I did not call you a pilot.  I called you an aviator.

 

     Rumsfeld:  (Inaudible.)

 

     Q:  That's another whole show, we could talk about the pharmaceutical business.  I imagine you're following it with interest because you were involved with that business, but you also were elected to the House of Representatives from the State of Illinois.  So you've had quite a variety of jobs.

 

     Rumsfeld:  (Inaudible.)

 

     Q:  (Laughter.)  Tell me about the pressure that people are putting on you to get the troops out of Iraq.  As a citizen I look at it and I go just the opposite.   Let's not be in a hurry, Mr. Secretary.  Don't be in a hurry. I know that our young men and women are in danger, but I look back at history and I go, Japan we didn't turn over the country to them until 1972.  It's history that says it takes time.

 

     Rumsfeld:  It does take time. The United States of America in 1776 developed a constitution -- this President is patient and he’s going to take his time --   And we are going to do the right thing. We have no desire to stay and occupy --

 

     Q:  Over 100,000 (Inaudible.)?

 

     Rumsfeld:  (Inaudible.)  We want to give them full opportunity to provide for their own security.  But it’s not easy. Democracy is untidy.  Before that we have a free press -- People can say what they want and do what they want -- irresponsible things happen.  We are trying to navigate toward a democratic system --

 

     Q:  At the same time I guess it's just a question of the pressure that must be on, and it seems like I hear so many times about the fact that we're in a big hurry, we're in a big hurry.  We're going to turn over the country to them, and there's this whole process that is laid out about going through and having some sort of pre-parliamentary group and then finally having elections maybe at the end of '05.  Now you've got this Grand Ayatollah Sistani, Al-Sistani, that wants an election right now and he's trying to -- You've got the Sunnis and the Shiites and the Kurds and he's trying to bargain for the Shiites because that's his group of people.  So you've got, it's much more difficult than Democrats versus Republicans, it seems like.

 

     Rumsfeld:  Oh my goodness, yes.  We have (Inaudible.).  So (Inaudible.).  You had (Inaudible.) people living under a dictatorial rule, under Saddam Hussein -- kind of a Soviet economic system.

 

So it’s not an easy transition -- think of the Eastern European countries transition after the --

 

     Q:  Yeah.  As far as the old theory about the U.S. being able to fight multiple wars on multiple fronts in different parts of the world, is there still a rule about that?  Is there still something that the Defense Department still wants to be able to handle more than one war in one part of the country, in the world?

 

     Rumsfeld:  Oh sure -- we have a strategy (Inaudible.) -- able to (Inaudible.).

 

     Q:  Before 9/11 if I recall right, you were at that time already talking about looking at a leaner, meaner, more technologically advanced, and since 9/11, or more importantly, really since the Iraq war a year ago, there have been critics that have said, in fact a lot of retired generals that have said well, we need, it's too small, it's too small, it's too small.

 

     So you started off and you've been consistent through pre and post 9/11.  Where are you today?

 

     Rumsfeld:  (Inaudible.). 

 

     Q:  As far as, again, going back to numbers, again the pressure does seem to be to please bring the troops, everybody wants to see the troops come home sooner than later, but it goes back again to how many are needed there and what (Inaudible.) the Iraqi army being rebuilt.  Do you think the numbers are going to be reduced?  There's a lot of people out there in California that are listening that are reservists and maybe going next time.

 

     Rumsfeld:  Right now we have a major troop movement underway -- in May, moving out of Iraq (Inaudible.).  We've pretty well gotten ourselves arranged so that we let folks know their service in Iraq is up to a year, for career cases. (Inaudible.) 

 

     Q:  Do you find with the changing role of the Reserve and the National Guard that there is any change in recruitment problems?  It used to be where the reserves were the people who stayed home when the regular Army or regular Navy went off to fight battles and they were kind of a backup.  Now they're integral.

 

     Rumsfeld:  Yes, they are. The total response in the Guard and Reserve   --   And we have to be able to balance the act of reservists -- There have been instances   -- in the reserves that have been called up too many times because we do not have enough (Inaudible.) in the active force (Inaudible.).  Right now the Army, the Marines, the Air Force, the Navy, are real balanced so we have active forces (Inaudible.).  So we had (Inaudible.).  (Inaudible.) the Guard and Reserve (Inaudible.).

 

     Q:  I remember as a young man being in the military, in the Army, the reserves always seemed like the people, I know there were some that always thought they could go get an education or something and not have to do any service.  They're still there, I’m sure.  But it wasn't as much of a commitment to active duty thinking then as it is now.  That's why I ask the question, is it hard to get them in the door?

 

     Rumsfeld:  No, as a matter of fact, the numbers are higher than (Inaudible.).  We're doing quite well.  We have to keep that mix up.  That mix was imperfect. 

 

     Q:  I read a profile of General Wesley Clark.  I'm not going to drag you into the politics of the Democratic party, but what I found reading about his background as a general in the Army, it was interesting to me because there was a part where he was, President Clinton and Madeleine Albright, he sided with them about policing activities around the world; where General Shelton and your predecessor, Secretary Cohen, were thinking more along the lines of the military should be for military and not for policing.  So the profile I read was that Clark basically got his nose bent out of shape because he went with the policing idea.

 

     Is there that -- He said there's a division of generals that feel one way or the other on that issue.  Is it that black and white?  And is there a division of generals who feel that way?

 

     Rumsfeld:  (Inaudible.).

 

     Q:  With General Clark specifically, he had some concern because of Rwanda, nothing was ever done.  And President Clinton was upset because we never did anything about Rwanda.  So that whole idea of going out and doing policing activity where there's trouble in the world, where there's something bad going in the world, other generals said no, we need to deal with things where we have a security interest, where our nation has a security interest.  And I'm not sure if it's the demographics of the current group of generals that are basically about my age that came up under a different set of rules than previous warriors.  I guess warriors versus policemen.

 

     Rumsfeld:  (Inaudible.)

 

     Q:  So your role as the civilian head of the military is to decide which one of those we're going to be.

 

     Rumsfeld:  (Inaudible.)   

 

     Q:  Do you think we will be attacked again?

 

     Rumsfeld:  Oh, I think it’s relatively easy for -- (Inaudible.).

 

     Q:  Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, thank you for joining us on KFBK.

 

     Rumsfeld:  Thank you.

 

(Interview with Tony Snow, Fox News - Dallas Radio Syndication.)

 

     Q:  -- Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.  Secretary Rumsfeld, welcome.

 

     Rumsfeld:  Thank you very much, Tony.  It's good to be here.

 

     Q:  You've been doing the rounds today.  Let's talk a little bit about the latest in the war on terror.  A lot of folks back in Texas are getting ready for their loved ones to make rotations out (Inaudible.) of the region.  Tell me a little bit about (Inaudible.).

 

     Rumsfeld:  If you think about it, people from all across the country are doing that.  We're going to be moving something like 120,000, 130,000 folks from the Gulf back to the United States, and roughly that number from the United States and Germany into the Gulf.  That's a quarter of a million people moving one way or another.  It's a major operation.

 

     What they're going to find is an Iraq that's quite different from the Iraq that their predecessors over there found.  It's an Iraq where the schools are open, the hospitals are there, they're working, there's now a central bank and a new currency.  A great deal of good things are happening.  There are also 200,000 Iraqi security forces that are participating, and they're now our biggest coalition partner.

 

     Q:  Secretary Rumsfeld, we've only got about 20 seconds left, I'm not even going to bother to ask another question because we're not going to get it through.  But I want to thank you for joining us.  I also wish you Godspeed because this is very important business and a lot of (Inaudible.)

 

     Rumsfeld:  Thank you so much.  It's good to be with you.

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