White House Piles on Rummy Over Afghan Troop Gripe

'You go to war with the defense sec you have'
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 3, 2009 10:01 AM CST

(Newser) – Donald Rumsfeld would prefer President Obama not disparage the previous administration by suggesting it ignored troop requests by US commanders in Afghanistan, as he did in Tuesday’s speech. That’s a “bald misstatement,” the former defense secretary says in a statement. “At least as it pertains to the period I served," he says, and he's not “aware of a single request of that nature between 2001 and 2006.”

“If any such requests occurred, ‘repeated’ or not, the White House should promptly make them public,” Rumsfeld continues. OK, says Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Mike Mullen, but we’re talking about 2008, when “we didn't have them because they were pushed to Iraq,” “the priority of the president.” Robert Gibbs seconds that interpretation, the Huffington Post notes, adding: “You go to war with the secretary of defense you have.” (Read more Adm. Mike Mullen stories.)

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