Newt's Advice for Rumsfeld

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
March 4 2011 12:30 PM

Newt's Advice for Rumsfeld

As Newt Gingrich explores his presidential bid, he's not talking a whole lot about Iraq. Conveniently for us, Donald Rumsfeld has been putting old memos on his website . One is an e-mail from August 8, 2002, carping about Gingrich for claiming the United States was not expanding the International Security Assistance Force.

The United States has not prevented the expansion of ISAF. We would be happy to have it expanded. However, nobody wants to do it except the Washington Post, The New York Times, and people with no troops! We have had a dickens of a time getting people to participate, we had a dickens of a time getting Turkey to take the lead and we are going to have a dickens of a time finding someone to take over from Turkey in December.

If you know of people standing in line to join ISAF I would like to hear about it. The idea that we refused the Italians sounds crazy to me. I will check with Franks. Thanks.


He's also posted a memo from 6/27/03 that has Larry DiRita writing to Rumsfeld, asking: "Please see me on this Newt Gingrich paper on 'Seven Strategic Necessities."

The paper, which you can read at the site, is all about Gingrich's advice for winning the PR side of the war and dealing with long-term strategic threats.

You want to force the carping, criticizing group to join you for the long haul or join the isolationists and reality avoiders. If there is a clear strategic choice the Bush Administration will win. If people get three choices the knit (sic) picking, daily critics will steadily gain ground. Do not let yourself be caught up in a daily argument or in trying to predict when you will leave a country or when you will solve everything. The country needs a little Churchillian promise of "blood, sweat, toil and tears."

There's a lot more in there, including Gingrich's advice for winning over peaceful Palestinians with a strategy similar to anti-insurgent tactics that worked in Malaya and, to a lesser extent, Vietnam.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 



More Than Scottish Pride

Scotland’s referendum isn’t about nationalism. It’s about a system that failed, and a new generation looking to take a chance on itself. 

What Charles Barkley Gets Wrong About Corporal Punishment and Black Culture

Why Greenland’s “Dark Snow” Should Worry You

Three Talented Actresses in Three Terrible New Shows

Why Do Some People See the Virgin Mary in Grilled Cheese?

The science that explains the human need to find meaning in coincidences.


Happy Constitution Day!

Too bad it’s almost certainly unconstitutional.

Is It Worth Paying Full Price for the iPhone 6 to Keep Your Unlimited Data Plan? We Crunch the Numbers.

What to Do if You Literally Get a Bug in Your Ear

  News & Politics
Sept. 16 2014 7:03 PM Kansas Secretary of State Loses Battle to Protect Senator From Tough Race
Sept. 16 2014 4:16 PM The iPhone 6 Marks a Fresh Chance for Wireless Carriers to Kill Your Unlimited Data
The Eye
Sept. 16 2014 12:20 PM These Outdoor Cat Shelters Have More Style Than the Average Home
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 15 2014 3:31 PM My Year As an Abortion Doula
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus Video
Sept. 16 2014 2:06 PM A Farewell From Emily Bazelon The former senior editor talks about her very first Slate pitch and says goodbye to the magazine.
Brow Beat
Sept. 16 2014 8:43 PM This 17-Minute Tribute to David Fincher Is the Perfect Preparation for Gone Girl
Future Tense
Sept. 16 2014 6:40 PM This iPhone 6 Feature Will Change Weather Forecasting
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 17 2014 7:30 AM Ring Around the Rainbow
Sports Nut
Sept. 15 2014 9:05 PM Giving Up on Goodell How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.