The Ownership Deception

Mitchell, Lincoln A.

In late 2006, shortly before the end of his tenure as secretary of defense, Donald Rumsfeld made the following remark regarding the ongoing U.S. role in Iraq: “The biggest mistake would be not to pass things over to the Iraqis. It’s their country. They’re going to have to govern it. They’re going to have to provide security for it. And they’re going to have to do it sooner rather than later.” This remark is striking for its ahistorical crassness and demonstrated a striking amount of chutzpah even by Secretary Rumsfeld’s standards. However, it also raises some interesting questions about sovereignty and responsibility in foreign affairs.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Harriman Institute
Published Here
September 29, 2011