On his watch, the U.S. invaded Afghanistan and later Iraq.
Donald Rumsfeld, former U.S. Defense Secretary and one of the architects of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq in 2003, has died at the age of 88 at his home in Taos, New Mexico, according to his family. Mr Rumsfeld was Defense Secretary during 1975-1977, during the Gerald Ford administration, and then in the George W Bush administration, during 2001 – 2006.
“It is with deep sadness that we share the news of the passing of Donald Rumsfeld, an American statesman and devoted husband, grandfather and great grandfather,” read a notice from the Rumsfeld family, posted on Twitter.
The New York Times reported that a family spokesperson had said that the cause of death was multiple myeloma.
In 2001, as Defense Secretary, Mr Rumsfeld oversaw the U.S. strikes in Afghanistan, following the September 11 terror attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City. The U.S. sought to overthrow the Taliban regime which was providing safe haven to terror group Al Qaeda, which was responsible for the September 11 attacks.
In 2003, Mr Rumsfeld was a key player in the Bush administration’s decision to invade Iraq, ostensibly to prevent Saddam Hussein from developing and deploying weapons of mass destruction (these were never found).