Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld spoke to a joint class taught by Professor Tsagronis on April 14. Secretary Rumsfeld discussed his time in the private sector when he served as a company executive at a pharmaceutical company. He also spoke about his time in public service when he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Illinois and served as the Secretary of Defense under President George W. Bush. Secretary Rumsfeld pointed out that many high level government officials who deal with national security serve less than three years, which is not enough time to create or implement a strategy or hold officials accountable for policies they pursue.
In addition, the former Secretary of Defense stressed to students the importance of creating and following through with a good strategy in a military context and for US national security as a whole. There must be priorities, because if everything is urgent, then nothing is urgent.
Finally, Secretary Rumsfeld discussed how the national security enterprise needs to change its way of dealing with 21st Century issues. It is important to become more flexible and agile when it comes to issues like cyber security and the spread of terrorism.