Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD REFERENCE (www.oxfordreference.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single entry from a reference work in OR for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 22 May 2024

Donald Rumsfeld 1932– 
American Republican politician and businessman 

  1. Learn to say, ‘I don't know.’ If used when appropriate, it will be often.
    ‘Rumsfeld's Rules’; interview in Wall Street Journal 29 January 2001
  2. If you are not criticized, you may not be doing much.
    ‘Rumsfeld's Rules’; interview in Wall Street Journal 29 January 2001
  3. Look for what's missing. Many advisers can tell a president how to improve what's proposed, or what's gone amiss. Few are able to see what isn't there.
    Rumsfeld's Rules (2001); interview in Wall Street Journal 29 January 2001
  4. There are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns—the ones we don't know we don't know.
    to a Defense Department meeting, February 2002
  5. You're thinking of Europe as Germany and France. I don't. I think that's old Europe. If you look at the entire Nato Europe today, the centre of gravity is shifting to the east.
    to journalists who asked him about European hostility to a possible war, 22 January 2003
    in Independent 21 February 2003
  6. Stuff happens…and it's untidy, and freedom's untidy, and free people are free to make mistakes and commit crimes and do bad things.
    on looting in Iraq
    press conference, 11 April 2003