George Mason University WETA Frontline -- Rumsfeld's War

Video & Discussions
Video: Tom Ricks and others discuss Donald Rumsfeld's leadership on Sept. 11, 2001.

Video: Defense Secretary Rumsfeld has turned the press conference into an art form.

Video: The Post's Dana Priest and Tom Ricks discuss the conflicts between Rumsfeld and Secretary of State Colin Powell.

Wednesday, Oct. 27, 11 a.m. ET Producer Michael Kirk fields questions and comments about "Rumsfeld's War."

Wednesday, Oct. 27, Noon ET Continue the discussion with Washington Post intelligence reporter Dana Priest.

Rumsfeld's War
In "Rumsfeld's War," airing Tuesday, Oct. 26, at 9 p.m. ET on PBS, FRONTLINE and The Washington Post join forces for the first time to investigate Donald Rumsfeld's contentious battle with the Pentagon bureaucracy to assert civilian control of the military and remake the way America fights.
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From The Post Archives
Below, a collection of articles from The Washington Post
archives by the reporters who contributed to "Rumsfeld's War":
Dan Balz, Dana Priest, Thomas E. Ricks,
Bob Woodward and Robin Wright.


2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004

Opinion: Bush's Wild Card
Bob Woodward (Jan. 12, 2001)
Rumsfeld was one of the brightest Republican stars in the 1960s and '70s.

Rumsfeld on High Wire of Defense Reform
Thomas E. Ricks (May 20, 2001)
Rumsfeld tries to create a new vision for the American military.

Rumsfeld, Joint Chiefs Spar Over Roles in Retooling Military
Thomas E. Ricks (May 25, 2001)
Rumsfeld expresses frustration about leaks of his plans to change the military.

Review Fractures Pentagon
Thomas E. Ricks (July 14, 2001)
Joint Chiefs Chairman expresses concern about defense secretary's review of the military.

For Military, 'Change Is Hard'
Thomas E. Ricks (July 19, 2001)
Rumsfeld indicates his review is running into resistance.

For Rumsfeld, Many Roadblocks
Thomas E. Ricks (Aug. 7, 2001)
Six months into an administration that campaigned on a promise to rebuild the military, Rumsfeld's ambitious plans were under fire from all sides.

Special Forces Open Ground Campaign
Thomas E. Ricks and Vernon Loeb (Oct. 19, 2001)
U.S. Special Forces begin the ground phase of America's war against terrorism in Afghanistan.

Target Approval Delays Cost Air Force Key Hits
Thomas E. Ricks (Nov. 18, 2001)
Air Force fails to get clearance to fire on top Taliban, al Qaeda members.

Rumsfeld's Hands-On War
Thomas E. Ricks (Dec. 9, 2001)
Afghan campaign shaped by Secretary's views, personality.

America's Chaotic Road to War
Dan Balz and Bob Woodward (Jan. 27, 2002)
Bush tells Rumsfeld he's responsible for organizing military response to Sept. 11 attacks.

'Team 555' Shaped a New Way of War
Dana Priest (April 3, 2002)
Special forces and smart bombs turned tide and routed Taliban.

Military Bids To Postpone Iraq Invasion
Thomas E. Ricks (May 24, 2002)
Military leaders believe they have persuaded the Pentagon's civilian leadership to put off an invasion of Iraq.

Bush Developing Military Policy Of Striking First
Thomas E. Ricks and Vernon Loeb (June 10, 2002)
Administration develops policy in support of preemptive attacks against terrorists and hostile states.

Some Top Military Brass Favor Status Quo in Iraq
Thomas E. Ricks (July 28, 2002)
Many senior U.S. military officers contend that President Saddam Hussein poses no immediate threat.

Timing, Tactics on Iraq War Disputed
Thomas E. Ricks (Aug. 1, 2002)
Increasingly contentious debate underway over how to topple Saddam Hussein.

Rumsfeld's Style, Goals Strain Ties In Pentagon
Vernon Loeb and Thomas E. Ricks (Oct. 16, 2002)
Gen. Richard B. Myers, Rumsfeld disagree on high-level Pentagon appointment.

Pentagon Team Told to Seek Details of Iraq-Al Qaeda Ties
Bradley Graham and Dana Priest (Oct. 25, 2002)
Rumsfeld orders defense officials to unearth details about Iraqi ties with al Qaeda.

War Plan For Iraq Is Ready, Say Officials
Thomas E. Ricks (Nov. 10, 2002)
Bush administration settles on a plan for a possible invasion of Iraq.

Audacious Mission, Awesome Risks
Rick Atkinson and Thomas E. Ricks (March 16, 2003)
U.S. commanders poised to attack Iraq with a force only one-third the size of the one that liberated Kuwait.

CIA Had Fix on Hussein
Barton Gellman and Dana Priest (March 20, 2003)
Intelligence revealed 'target of opportunity.'

Questions Raised About Invasion Force
Vernon Loeb and Thomas E Ricks (March 25, 2003)
easoned Gulf War ground commanders say U.S. invasion force moving to Baghdad is too small.

War Could Last Months, Officers Say
Thomas E. Ricks (March 27, 2003)
Some senior U.S. officers convinced war requires more combat power.

Rumsfeld Stands Tall After Iraq Victory
Thomas E. Ricks (April 20, 2003)
As war winds down, Rumsfeld stands astride the military establishment as few defense secretaries ever have.

Hopes Top Iraqi Captives Help Prove Bush's Prewar Case
Dana Priest and Walter Pincus (April 26, 2003)
Administration says captured Iraqi leaders may become key to proving prewar case.

Wolfowitz Concedes Iraq Errors
Peter Slevin and Dana Priest (July 24, 2003)
Deputy secretary of defense says some key assumptions underlying the U.S. occupation of Iraq were wrong.

Iraq Takes A Toll on Rumsfeld
Thomas E. Ricks and Vernon Loeb (Sept. 14, 2003)
Rumsfeld blamed by many for problems facing the U.S. in Iraq.

Defense Official Moves to Ease Strained Relations With Army
Thomas E. Ricks (Oct. 9, 2003)
Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz extends an olive branch to the Army.

Bush, Aides Ignored CIA Caveats on Iraq
Walter Pincus and Dana Priest (Feb. 7, 2004)
Some question why Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld used unequivocal rhetoric to describe the threat from Iraq.

Bush Began to Plan War Three Months After 9/11
William Hamilton (April 17, 2004)
Woodward book describes a Cheney-Powell fracture.

Plan of Attack: Part One
Bob Woodward (April 18, 2004)
Behind diplomatic moves, military plan was launched.

Plan of Attack: Part Two
Bob Woodward (April 19, 2004)
With CIA push, movement to war accelerated.

Plan of Attack: Part Three
Bob Woodward (April 20, 2004)
Cheney was unwavering in desire to go to war.

Plan of Attack: Part Four
Bob Woodward (April 21, 2004)
The Special Relationship: Blair steady in support.

Plan of Attack: Part Five
Bob Woodward (April 22, 2004)
U.S. aimed for Hussein as war began.

Bush Privately Chides Rumsfeld
Robin Wright and Bradley Graham (May 6, 2004)
Officials say Pentagon resisted repeated calls for prison changes.

Pentagon Was Warned of Abuse Months Ago
Peter Slevin and Robin Wright (May 8, 2004)
Months before Rumsfeld publicly acknowledged prisoner abuse, U.S. officials and rights groups sought end to mistreatment.

Dissension Grows In Senior Ranks On War Strategy
Thomas E. Ricks (May 9, 2004)
Deep divisions emerge over the course of Iraq occupation.

Secret World of U.S. Interrogation
Dana Priest and Joe Stephens (May 11, 2004)
Long history of ractics in overseas prisons comes to light.

Rumsfeld Defends Rules for Prison
Dana Priest and Dan Morgan (May 13, 2004)
Defense Department faces mounting complaints that techniques violate international rules.

Spirited Debate Preceded Policies
Dana Priest (June 23, 2004)
Pentagon lawyers warned military's reputation could suffer as a result of interrogation tactics.

Scope of Change in Military Is Ambiguous
Thomas E. Ricks and Josh White (Aug. 9, 2004)
Little consensus on progress of military transformation.

Rumsfeld's War Plan Shares the Blame
Thomas E. Ricks (Aug. 25, 2004)
Rumsfeld's leadership of the Pentagon found somewhat wanting.

U.S. Troops' Death Rate Rising in Iraq
Thomas E. Ricks (Sept. 9, 2004)
More U.S. troops have died since the turnover of power to an interim Iraqi government.

Bremer Criticizes Troop Levels
Bremer Criticizes Troop Levels (Oct. 5, 2004)
Former U.S. official who governed Iraq after invasion says the United States made two major mistakes.

General Reported Shortages In Iraq
Thomas E. Ricks (Oct. 18, 2004)
Top U.S. commander in Iraq complained to Pentagon last winter that his supply situation threatened troops' ability to fight.

More Frontline Discussions
The Choice
(Oct. 13, 2004)
The Invasion of Iraq
(Feb. 27, 2004)
Beyond Baghdad
(Feb. 13, 2004)

Truth, War and Consequences
(Oct. 10, 2003)

Frontline Discussion Archive