Former Secretary of defence Donald Rumsfeld gave his most critical comments on Libya yet to SPIEGEL.
When intervening in Libya, Obama should have let “the mission determine the coalition, not the other way around.”
Rumsfeld says Libya should be a secondary to Iran and Syria:
[I]f I look at the really important questions in that region, I see Iran, where there is a strong desire for a freer society and where people are repressed by a small group of ayatollahs. I see Syria, where we can see a similar desire of the people to be free. These two countries fund Hezbollah and other terrorist organisations and are hurting our efforts in Afghanistan and have been extremely harmful in Iraq. Then I also see large, important countries such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia. But the United States is doing things now in Libya.
When SPIEGEL accuses Rumsfeld of acting without international support in Iraq, the man says they’ve got it backwards:
The reality is that Obama has some 15 countries in the current Libya coalition. President Bush put together close to 50 countries for the Afghan coalition, some 40 countries for the Iraqi coalition, more than 90 countries for the Proliferation Security Initiative and over 90 countries in the Global War on Terror, and yet as your question suggested, he was called a “unilateralist.”
Rumsfeld’s perspective may prevail yet. With Qaddafi still in power, the White House is rephrasing its justification for intervention.
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