Former Defense Secretary: American weakness is dangerous
Former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, in a rare public speech, warned that American military and financial weakness is creating a more dangerous and unstable world.
Rumsfeld also said the U.S. government, both Congress and the executive branch, is dysfunctional and ill-suited for the information age. He called for creating a blue-ribbon commission to modernize the administrative functions of government agencies and institutions in both branches.
The former defense secretary during the George W. Bush administration said he was asked recently what keeps him awake at night.
“What I worry about most today is American weakness,” Rumsfeld told a conference of congressional staff members and former government officials hosted by the Defense Forum Foundation on Capitol Hill.
“The signal of weakness is a dangerous one,” he said.
Rumsfeld said that throughout his 80-year life, “the world has been a safer place because of the United States of America.”
Rumsfeld said American weakness can provoke potential adversaries into conflict and urged keeping the United States strong both financially and militarily, while maintaining robust diplomatic and intelligence capabilities.
Foreign perceptions of the United States as strong and engaged in world affairs and available to help its allies have a significant deterrent effect on would-be aggressors, he said.
“I look at the United States today and I think anyone has to worry,” Rumsfeld said.