Rumsfeld has become one of the most loathed and revered men in the world. The man is too impatient, too damned arrogant, too beyond politics, and just too stubborn for his own good. He is the famously combative, two-time SecDef (both youngest and oldest ever) who chews up and spits out experienced reporters in what are easily the most skillfully performed press conferences since John Kennedy walked the earth. He has brilliantly executed a couple of wars, and badly botched a peace. Let us stipulate all these truths just to move the conversation along.
But something else has been going on in this office, and it's nothing short of the most profound transformation of the U. S. military since World War II-a historic process that will, paradoxically, yield a force Americans haven't seen since our frontier days. The United States had one Defense Department on January 20, 2001, and it will have a very different one by January 20, 2009. Donald H. Rumsfeld, thirteenth and twenty-first secretary of defense, is the reason why.
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