- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Former Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld isn’t pulling any punches when it comes to President Obama’s notion to launch airstrikes on Syria without following up with ground troops or additional military presence: That type of “minimalist” strategy doesn’t work.

Rather, it’s “feckless and ineffective,” Mr. Rumsfeld said, as Politico reported.

“[The] president is not, in my view, providing the kind of leadership that I think almost any president in my adult lifetime would be providing,” he said during a Tuesday event at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids, Mich., as reported by Politico.

At the same time, Mr. Rumsfeld had words of praise for Secretary of State John F. Kerry, calling his summary remarks on the situation in Syria filled with “forcefulness and thoughtfulness,” as well as “compelling and persuasive,” Politico reported.


Mr. Rumsfeld isn’t the only one to criticize Mr. Obama’s mulling of airstrikes absent additional military response — but he is the latest.

“Why would you go in and fire a shot across the bow? All it does is make a splash,” he said in the Politico article. “What’ve you achieved? Well, what you’ve probably achieved if you … approach it from a minimalist standpoint, what you’ve probably achieved is the embarrassment of the United States for being feckless and ineffective.”

Mr. Rumsfeld added, “And given what’s going on in Iran, the last thing we ought to be sending out is a signal that there was a red line and we fired a shot across the bow.”