Assigning Blame

The day after President Bush announced the resignation of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, the two-time SECDEF appeared at Kansas State University for the Alf Landon Lecture Series, offering his view of the way forward in the war on terror. Among several suggestions, Rumsfeld told the 5,000-strong audience, “National security policies can no longer be separated into the functions of defense, diplomacy, and development.” In what is becoming a familiar call, Rumsfeld advocates better collaboration among DOD, State, CIA, Homeland, Justice, and more. He also laid some blame for current circumstances in Afghanistan and Iraq on the budgeting process. Rumsfeld asserted, “The realities on the ground in the rest of the world do not correspond to the yearly federal budgetary process—where it can take one year to craft a budget, another to get it approved by Congress, and then a third year to execute that then somewhat stale program.”