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Rumsfeld Says Farewell To U.S. Military Personnel

President Bush announces Rumsfeld's (left) resignation on November 8 (epa) WASHINGTON, December 8, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- Outgoing U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said farewell to military personnel at the Pentagon today, saying he hoped history would judge most of his decisions favorably.

Rumsfeld is leaving his job later this month after resigning in the face of criticism that the war in Iraq is not being won by the United States and its coalition partners.

"I wish I could say that everything we've done here has gone perfectly, but that is not how life works, regrettably," he said. "When thousands of people make dozens of difficult decisions on hundreds of pressing issues, for the most part matters that are new and unfamiliar, where there is no road map, no guide book that says, 'Here is exactly how you should do something,' the hope has to be not perfection, but that most decisions, with the perspective of time, will turn out to be the right ones and that the perspective of history will judge the overwhelming majority of those decisions favorably."

Rumsfeld will be succeeded by Robert Gates, whose nomination was approved by the U.S. Senate this week.

Iraq In Transition

Iraq In Transition

THE COMPLETE STORY: RFE/RL's complete coverage of events in Iraq and that country's ongoing transition.