President George W. Bush knew that "I serve at his pleasure, and that's that," Rumsfeld said at a Pentagon press conference. The defense secretary said he was proud of his five-year tenure as the Pentagon chief, and suggested the changes he had pressed the military to make had aroused resistance and controversy. He flatly answered "No" when asked if he would consider resigning.
Six retired generals have called recently for Rumsfeld to resign, accusing him of mishandling the Iraq war. These retired generals included Major General John Batiste, who commanded the Army's 1st Infantry Division in Iraq in 2003 and 2004, and Marine General Anthony Zinni, former U.S. Central Command chief.
Meanwhile, Bush has launched a strong defense for the embattled Rumsfeld. Bush said at a press conference at the White House on Tuesday that he was the "decider" and that he made the "final decision."
"What's best is for Don Rumsfeld to remain as the secretary of defense," he said.
"And Don Rumsfeld is doing a fine job. He's not only transforming the military, he's fighting a war on terror. He's helping us fight a war on terror. I have strong confidence in Don Rumsfeld," he said.
Last Friday, Bush issued a statement in support of Rumsfeld, saying that defense chief's "energetic and steady leadership is exactly what is needed at this critical period."Last Mod: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16