Donald Rumsfeld Quotes
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Reduce the number of lawyers. They are like beavers - they get in the middle of the stream and dam it up.
The Secretary of Defense is not a super General or Admiral. His task is to exercise civilian control over the Department for the Commander-in-Chief and the country.
Don't necessarily avoid sharp edges. Occasionally they are necessary to leadership.
Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction.
We know where they are. They are in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad.
We know where they are [Iraq's weapons of mass destruction]. They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat.
We do know of certain knowledge that he [Osama Bin Laden] is either in Afghanistan, or in some other country, or dead.
Be precise. A lack of precision is dangerous when the margin of error is small.
If you are not criticized, you may not be doing much.
Look for what's missing. Many advisors can tell a President how to improve what's proposed or what's gone amiss. Few are able to see what isn't there.
Don't think of yourself as indispensable or infallible. As Charles De Gaulle said, the cemeteries of the world are full of indispensable men.
The most underestimated risk for a politician is overexposure.
Death has a tendency to encourage a depressing view of war.
No terror state poses a greater or more immediate threat to the security of our people and the stability of the world than the regime of Saddam Hussein in Iraq.
Listening to both sides does not necessarily bring about a correct judgment.
Test ideas in the marketplace. You learn from hearing a range of perspectives. Consultation helps engender the support decisions need to be successfully implemented.
Don't speak ill of your predecessors or successors. You didn't walk in their shoes.
The purpose of terrorism is to terrorize. It's to change the behavior of the people that are being terrorized.
Don't say 'the White House wants.' Buildings can't want.
Arguments of convenience lack integrity and inevitably trip you up.
If the staff lacks policy guidance against which to test decisions, their decisions will be random.
Don't divide the world into "them" and "us."
To gain support in U.S. Congress and from other nations requires clarity, an acceptable mission and an explicit outcome.
Don't blame the boss. He has enough problems.
When business accepts help from the government, it can be like going to bed with a hippopotamus. It's nice and warm for the moment, but then your bedmate rolls over and crushes you.
Think ahead. Don't let day-to-day operations drive out planning.
Many people around the President have sizeable egos before entering government, some with good reason. Their new positions will do little to moderate their egos.
Congress, the press, and the bureaucracy too often focus on how much money or effort is spent, rather than whether the money or effort actually achieves the announced goal.
Treat each federal dollar as if it was hard earned; it was - by a taxpayer.
Don't automatically obey Presidential directives if you disagree or if you suspect he hasn't considered key aspects of the issue.
Reduce the layers of management. They put distance between the top of an organization and the customers.
The problem is the people who tend to be the best organized are the most radical and the most vicious.
Keep your sense of humor. As General Joe Stillwell said, 'The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind'.
If you try to please everybody, somebody's not going to like it.
Enjoy your time in public service. It may well be one of the most interesting and challenging times of your life.
Know that the amount of criticism you receive may correlate somewhat to the amount of publicity you receive.
Remember where you came from.
Strive to make proposed solutions as self-executing as possible. As the degree of discretion increases, so too does bureaucracy, delay, and expense.
Let your family, staff, and friends know that you're still the same person, despite all the publicity and notoriety that accompanies your position.
Politics is human beings; it's addition rather than subtraction.
When cutting staff at the Pentagon, don't eliminate the thin layer that assures civilian control.
You might be a cunning linguist, but I am a master debater.
It is easier to get into something than to get out of it.
I can't tell you if the use of force in Iraq today will last five days, five weeks or five months, but it won't last any longer than that.
I believe what I said yesterday. I don't know what I said, but I know what I think and I assume it's what I said.
Move decisions out to the Cabinet and agencies. Strengthen them by moving responsibility, authority, and accountability their direction.
In the execution of Presidential decisions work to be true to his views, in fact and tone.
Don't divide the world into 'them' and 'us.' Avoid infatuation with or resentment of the press, the Congress, rivals, or opponents. Accept them as facts. They have their jobs and you have yours.
There are a lot of people who lie and get away with it, and that's just a fact.
The dead-enders are still with us, those remnants of the defeated regimes who'll go on fighting long after their cause is lost.