Donald Rumsfeld

Dick Cheney

Paul Wolfowitz

Colin Powell

Richard Armitage

Condoleezza Rice

October 1983:
Marine barracks bombed in Beirut



Working for Secretary of State George Shultz, Wolfowitz watches his hawkish boss, a former Marine, push for forceful retaliation for suicide bombings in Beirut that kill 241 Marines. He frequently works with his counterpart on Asian policy at Defense, Rich Armitage. But their bosses -- Shultz and Weinberger -- rarely agree.

· Shultz vs Weinberger >

Powell is now a top assistant to Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger. Loath to send combat troops on a murky mission -- or to destablilize relations with the Arab world -- Weinberger calls off a retaliatory strike. Marines start pulling out of Lebanon four months later.

· Beirut is the beginning

Armitage is named assistant secretary of defense months before the Beirut bombing. His assignments largely concern Asia, but with the Middle East starting to loom after Beirut, he plays a role in some counter-terrorism policies as well. He also makes a new friend: Powell, a fellow Vietnam vet.

· Powell and Armitage: fast friends >


December 1983:
Shaking hands with Hussein

Rumsfeld is still a public figure: As Reagan's personal Middle East representative, he meets with Saddam Hussein. He hopes Iraq will counter the rise of Iran, which is implicated in the Beirut bombings. Iraq has used chemical weapons, but Rumsfeld says the U.S. will look the other way.

· Saddam Hussein, enemy of America's enemy >

· Hussein's mind trick >






Fallout from Beirut

Rumsfeld publicly jabs at Weinberger for being too timid in Lebanon. By mid-year he is no longer a Middle East envoy -- he feels America's policies toward the region may be a lost cause -- and instead prepares to leave G.D. Searle, his pharmaceutical company, for a series of high-level jobs at other firms.



In reaction to both Beirut and Vietnam, Powell and his boss Weinberger begin to formulate the cautious approach to deploying troops known variously as the Weinberger or Powell Doctrine. It does not sit well with the aggressive Shultz -- or with Rumsfeld.

· What is the Powell Doctrine? >


President Rumsfeld?

Rumsfeld starts drumming up support for his biggest endeavor yet: a run for the presidency. Among his backers, surprisingly, is Kissinger. A Rumsfeld run would be particularly audacious given the likely nominee: sitting Vice President George Bush.

· Could Rumsfeld have won the White House? >





Setting the stage



The government of the Philippines is overthrown in a Reagan-supported coup. To many Reaganites -- especially Wolfowitz, now ambassador to Indonesia -- the experience is a perfect model for how the U.S. can spread democracy.

The Goldwater-Nichols Act is passed, transforming the Joint Chiefs of Staff from a career backwater into a hot spot. The law will later make Powell the most powerful chairman of the Joint Chiefs in history.

· Goldwater-Nichols: The power behind Powell >


Rice is a rising star at Stanford. While serving as a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, she takes another duty: special assistant to the director of the newly influential Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Shifts in power

Rumsfeld calls off his unofficial presidential campaign. The prospect of immense fundraising has proven too burdensome for him, say his friends, and his candidacy simply does not resonate with many Republican leaders.

Cheney, still in the House and still extremely conservative, has gained considerable power among his fellow representatives. By the end of his Congressional career he will have been elected or re-elected six times. He becomes House minority whip in 1988.






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posted oct. 26, 2004

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