The Nikkei editorial about the Rumsfeld resignation was published this morning. American readers may be interested to hear that it pushes the Robert McNamara comparison–the meme has arrived in Japan:
There has been no two-term president who has had the same Secretary of Defense for all eight years in office. Rumsfeld assumed the post after the Bush administration began in 2001; combined with his year as defense secretary under Ford in the 1970s, that gives him a total of seven years in the position. His only rival [in that regard] is McNamara, who was Secretary of Defense for seven years under Kennedy and Johnson.
Both men have had experience running private enterprises, and both applied their private-sector administrative methods to policy in the Department of Defense. As a result, both ran into snags–McNamara in Vietnam, and Rumsfeld in Iraq. Rumsfeld, especially, in beginning the war in Iraq, attempted to get results with the lowest possible amount of military force. This move invited opposition from the armed forces and is connected to the current state of confusion.