Shinseki publicly clashed with Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld during the planning of the war in Iraq over how many troops the United States would need to keep in Iraq for the postwar occupation of that country. As Army Chief of Staff, Shinseki testified to the United States Senate Committee on Armed Services on February 25, 2003 that “something in the order of several hundred thousand soldiers” would probably be required for postwar Iraq. This was an estimate far higher than the figure being proposed by Secretary Rumsfeld in his invasion plan, and it was rejected in strong language by both Rumsfeld and his Deputy Secretary of Defense, Paul Wolfowitz, who was another chief planner of the invasion and occupation. From then on, Shinseki’s influence on the Joint Chiefs of Staff reportedly waned. Critics of the Bush Administration alleged that Shinseki was forced into early retirement as Army Chief of Staff because of his comments on troop levels; however, his retirement was announced nearly a year before those comments.
When the insurgency took hold in postwar Iraq, Shinseki’s comments and their public rejection by the civilian leadership were often cited by those who felt the Bush administration deployed too few troops to Iraq. On November 15, 2006, in testimony before Congress, CENTCOM Commander General John Abizaid said that Shinseki had been correct that more troops were needed.
Stephen tries to pin down the notoriously evasive former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.
“The war is over.”
— Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld in Afghanistan
in April 2002
“I believe victory is closer than ever before.”
Mr. Gates’ former boss, President George W. Bush–who has stayed largely out of political affairs since leaving office–called the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Sen. Bob Corker, to push the Tillerson nomination. Mr. Bush’s vice president, Dick Cheney, also a former defense secretary, has called Mr. Tillerson “an inspired choice.”
Yet another former defense secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, went on Twitter to call Mr. Tillerson “a talented exec” and a “skillful negotiator.” Former Secretary of State James Baker has called Mr. Tillerson a personal friend and an “excellent choice.” Another former secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, as well as Stephen Hadley, a former national security adviser, both praised the choice as well.
.. In part, the reason is simply that these figures all know Mr. Tillerson. Exxon Mobil has been a client of the consulting firm run by Ms. Rice and Messrs. Gates and Hadley, and a client of Mr. Baker’s law firm.
.. But perhaps more important, these establishment figures are comfortable with him, and probably feel his presence at the State Department will give them some input on the course of American foreign policy