Former US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, one of the architects of the Iraq invasion, died at the age of 88.
Rumsfeld was a key backer of the Bush administration’s war on terror during his time as Secretary of Defense under President George W. Bush.
US forces invaded Afghanistan after the attacks of 11 September 2001. In 2003, the US invaded Iraq and toppled Saddam Hussein’s regime. In 2006, Rumsfeld resigned but supported the invasion.
His family revealed Rumsfeld’s death at his Taos, New Mexico, residence.
“We share the news of Donald Rumsfeld’s departure with tremendous grief,” the family said in a statement. “He was an American politician, spouse, father, and a very excellent grandfather.”
Former US President George W. Bush called Rumsfeld a “really excellent man” in response to the news.
Rumsfeld’s political career spanned decades, earning a reputation as a Washington, DC, know-it-all and a slick crisis-fighting politician famous for outsmarting his opponents.
He served as Secretary of Defense under two American presidents, Gerald Ford and then George W. Bush, and worked for a period in the private sector between them.
One of his most memorable moments came at a press conference in 2002 when asked about the lack of evidence linking Saddam Hussein to weapons of mass destruction; he gave an elusive answer.
A few months later, US forces invaded Iraq in March 2003. Rumsfeld said that Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction pose a threat to the world, but those have not been found.