WASHINGTON (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 01st July, 2021) US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in a statement said he is saddened by the passing of former Pentagon chief Donald Rumsfeld and hailed his extensive duty to the United States.
Rumsfeld died in Taos, New Mexico, at the age of 88, his family said on Wednesday. He served as US Defense Secretary twice, under President Gerald Ford in the 1970s and in the George W. Bush administration from 2001-2006.
"I was saddened to hear today of the passing of former Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld," Austin said on Wednesday. "Over the decades of his remarkable career, from Congress to the White House to the Pentagon, Secretary Rumsfeld was propelled by his boundless energy, probing intellect, and abiding commitment to serve his country."
Austin extended his condolences to Rumsfeld's family on behalf of the Defense Department.
Rumsfeld also served in the US Navy from 1954 to 1957 as a pilot and a flight instructor, then continued his service as a reservist until 1975, when he first became Secretary of Defense, Austin added.
Rumsfeld, widely considered the architect of the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, faced heavy criticism for the rush to war and the occupation of the middle eastern country as well as for abuse of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay and enhanced interrogation techniques.
Rumsfeld was also known for witty - yet controversial - quotes including the now famous (or infamous) "there are known unknowns" about intelligence matters. He also once rhetorically posed the question: "Are we [the United States] creating more terrorists than we're killing?"