Go to contents

[Opinion] Rumsfled Way

Posted April. 20, 2003 22:15,   


Napoleon Bonaparte, the emperor of France was once asked by one of his aides whom he thought as the best strategist. His answer was simple and clear. “The winner”. It applies to the case of Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld. Rumsfled was once under heavy criticism and blame but as he led the war to victory, he is now being praised as a better strategist than Gen. Tommy Franks, commander of the war in Iraq, or Secretary of State Colin Powel, former head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Rumsfled with his history of being four terms in the US House of Representatives was appointed the US Ambassador to North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and was also the Secretary-General, Secretary of Defense, as well as CEO of various corporations. He became the Secretary-General in 1975 and, at the age of 43, became the youngest Secretary of Defense in the Ford Administration. High tech weapons such as cruise missiles were developed while he was in the office as the Secretary General. He returned to politics as the chair of the Rumsfeld commission, which assessed ballistic missile threat to U.S. in 1998. Since then Rumsfled sent letters to Bill Clinton urging him to develop strategies of removing Iraqi President Saddam Hussein out of his power. Then Rumsfled was appointed as the Secretary Defense for the George W. Bush Administration in 2001.

Rumsfled who has such a colorful career and life experience has embedded his useful experience of being a leader ever since he was in the US House of Representatives in pithy epigram. It is called as “Rumsfled Way". There are over 150 pieces of his wonderful remark but now let us just taste some of it.

- If you cannot ‘bark loud enough’ to the President then resign from your seat.

- Do not divide the world between ‘we’ and ‘them’.

- Give up the thought, ‘Only I’ can do it. AS Charles de Gaulle, there are tons of bodies in cemeteries, who died saying so.

- The White House doesn`t have time to educate amateurs.

- The A-level figure hires A-level personnel, but B-level figure can barely hire C-level or less personnel.

- Do not stop expressing his view to the President even if he has different view from that of the president.

- The President should avoid temptation of doing everything by himself.

Rumsflel’s favorite maxim is “The turtle only makes progress when he sticks his neck out.” Rumsfeld has only moved when it matched to his principle, in another words, “Rumsfled Way”. Rumsfled stuck his neck out and moved forward slow but with determination only when he believed it is right according to his way. He did so as if he were a turtle. He is now seventy-one years old. Donald H. Rumsfeld was truly the winner of war with Iraq.

Jung Jin-hong, guest Editorialist, media personnel atombit@netian.com