• U.S.

Dick Cheney: The Loyal Hawk

1 minute read
Mark Thompson

To many Americans, DONALD RUMSFELD’s brawny bellicosity is the personification of American strength and confidence. Overseas, many allies and most foes see the Pentagon boss as the picture of American arrogance. Still, the Defense Secretary, 70, gets along well with George W., and why not? Whenever Rumsfeld plays verbal volleyball with Pentagon reporters, he steadfastly quotes the President. He has Bush’s backing in the Secretary’s uphill efforts to remake the Army, Navy and Air Force into lighter, faster, stealthier versions of themselves. The White House has been reluctant to curb his consolidation of power at the Pentagon, particularly his plan to tighten the military’s grip on intelligence gathering. After his star turn as prime-time war boss last fall, Rumsfeld spent much of this year defending the Administration’s meager efforts to rebuild Afghanistan–and then selling America on the threat posed by Iraq. Careful that Bush not be seen as an extremist, Pentagon aides insist Rumsfeld has actually restrained the march toward war championed by his hawkish deputies, who are busy pushing for stepped-up covert propaganda efforts–even inside friendly countries. –By Mark Thompson

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