The Washington Times - August 29, 2013, 08:46AM

He’s seen a lot of wars, and the making of wars, that’s for sure. Donald Rumsfeld, 81, is a U.S. Navy veteran, was Secretary of Defense twice, and has served in public office in one capacity or another since 1963.

And here’s what he thinks about Syria as the White House wrestles with a protocol, a response and a productive solution.

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“The fundamental problem we’ve got - the United States - is that this administration has been in a withdrawal mode, in an apology mode,” Mr. Rumsfeld told the Fox Business Network.

“And therefore, that vacuum we’ve created is being filled by people who don’t have our values or our interests. And that gives China and Russia an opportunity to do things that are, fundamentally, against what we, as a country, and the American people would prefer to have happen,” he noted.

Eight days after the chemical attack on Syrian civilians, President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry now wonder what to do when the proverbial “red line” has been crossed and a moral imperative is at stake: will they only craft a political solution?

No “regime change” is order, the White House says, even as news reports say a U.S. intervention in Syria is already underway, and targets have been identified. Though Mr. Kerry and Vice President Joe Biden have emerged with strong language and posturing, the White House must determine when and if to make a strike that resonates with the Assad regime - with no collateral damage, and - of course- positive coverage in the press.