Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld ("Rummy" to his friends) is back in the news. The controversial cabinet member responsible for coordinating the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars with the military condemned President Barack Obama for showing such "weakness" our enemies grow stronger by the day.
Speaking on Monday with Newsmax TV’s John Bachman on “America’s Forum,” Rumsfeld, author of the new book "Rumsfeld's Rules," said America is not spending enough on the military.
In his words, "The greatest security threat to America is the fact that the United States is behaving in a way that is sending a signal of future weakness. In the Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson administrations, we were spending 10 percent of gross domestic product on defense. Today, we're spending less than 4 percent and the entitlements have ballooned."
"There's no way we can keep on spending trillions of dollars we don't have. So that vacuum we're creating is going to be filled, and it'll be filled by countries that don't have our values and clearly are adverse to our interests."
Rumsfeld, served from 1975 to 1977 as secretary of defense under President Gerald Ford’s administration and in the same post from 2001 to 2006 under President George W. Bush.
He continued, "You very likely are going to end up seeing other countries in the region develop nuclear weapons. And there are other countries that are perfectly capable of it, and there are countries around the world that are willing to assist them with nuclear programs. And that is not a good thing for the world."
The former defense secretary fears that Saudi Arabia and Egypt, like Iran, will seek nuclear weapons with a weak Obama administration. He added that pulling out of Iraq and Afghanistan furthered the perception of American weakness throughout the Middle East.
"The president never should have said we'll be leaving on a certain date because it tells the Taliban, wait a while and then you can come in and take over,” he told Newsmax.
Rumsfeld strongly feels we should not offer aid to the Syrian rebels fighting the Assad regime. "Either you keep your mouth shut, and if you say something then by golly you'd better live up to it, and we did exactly the wrong thing."
The former secretary of defense feels the United States can “bounce back” and become a world leader once again. "We do not need to go into decline. I expect that what we'll see is self-correction taking place because we ought not to leave a vacuum that is filled by people that fundamentally don't have our values and are against our interests."
Rumsfeld is on a national tour promoting his new book.
* If you have enjoyed this column, may I suggest you scroll down this page and press the SUBSCRIBE box? It's FREE. Thank you for your patronage.
** Send your comments to: email@example.com