The Full Wiki

Rumsfeld Doctrine: Wikis

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The "Rumsfeld Doctrine", named after former United States Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, is a neologism created by journalists concerned with the perceived transformation of the military of the United States. It would be considered Rumsfeld's own take on RMA (Revolution in Military Affairs). It seeks to increase force readiness and decrease the amount of supply required to maintain forces, by reducing the number in a theater. This is done mainly by using LAVs (Light Armoured Vehicles) to scout for enemies who are then destroyed via airstrikes. The basic tenets of this military strategy are:

  • High-technology combat systems;
  • Reliance on air forces;
  • Small, nimble ground forces.

Afghanistan and the Iraq wars are considered the two closest implementations of this doctrine.



Opponents argue that the doctrine entails a heavy reliance on airstrikes to replace a lack of ground forces. Beginning with Saddam Hussein, there were at least 50 airstrikes aimed at decapitating the Iraqi leadership. Not a single one was successful. However, there was extensive collateral damage to civilians. [1]

Opponents also claim that without ground troops to secure the border, top Ba'athist regime members fled the country with vast Iraqi funds and foreign insurgents moved into the country. There were not enough troops to defend the Iraqi border from foreign-backed insurgents. This was not as much of a problem in Afghanistan because Soviet hostilities had long ended any Afghanistan benefits from geological border protections.

They also claim that without sufficient troops the country could not be pacified. Without sufficient troops to guard the Iraqi military infrastructure large amounts of munitions were looted. This has led to the current problem of insurgents and their improvised explosive devices (IED)s. Notably, Thomas L. Friedman of the New York Times has referred to the Rumsfeld Doctrine as one of "just enough troops to lose".[1]

Events After Rumsfeld's Tenure

With the perceived success of the surge in Iraq, the influence of the Rumsfeld Doctrine seems to be declining.

See also


  1. ^ Friedman, Thomas (3 October 2004). "Iraq: Politics or Policy?". The New York Times. Retrieved 28 September 2009.  

External links

Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address