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McCain: 'Thank God' Rumsfeld Was Fired McCain: 'Thank God' Rumsfeld Was Fired

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National Security / NATIONAL SECURITY

McCain: 'Thank God' Rumsfeld Was Fired

Former Bush Defense secretary would have led U.S. to defeat in Iraq, McCain says.

 (Liz Lynch)

February 3, 2011

Updated at 9:45 a.m. on February 3.

A simmering rivalry blew out anew today when Sen. John McCain said former Bush Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld would have led the United States to defeat in Iraq.

McCain said on ABC's Good Morning America that Rumsfeld's strategy in Iraq "was doomed to failure. Thank God he was relieved of his duties and we put the surge in. Otherwise, we would have had a disastrous defeat in Iraq."

 

The Arizona Republican's comments followed a question of whether he had a "hair-trigger temper," as Rumsfeld wrote in his 800-page autobiography, Known and Unknown, to be released on Tuesday.

Rumsfeld was fired as secretary of Defense by President Bush in 2006 after 3 1/2 years of U.S. engagement in Iraq. In his memoir, sections of which were obtained by The Washington Post, Rumsfield discussed charges that he didn't provide enough troops. "In retrospect, there may have been times when more troops could have helped," he wrote.

But Rumsfeld, 78, said he never got pushback from military commanders on the size of the force, either before or after the 2003 intervention, according to the Post. He also blames Bush for making judgments before resolving conflicts among his advisers.

Rumsfeld did get pushback from the start from McCain, who argued for more troops at the start of the intervention and who supported the ''surge'' strategy of Gen. David Petraeus.

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