The Gallup Poll decided it was a good time—with the defense budget and QDR release imminent—to find out what Americans think of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. The poll, released Tuesday, found that the country is fairly evenly split—showing 44 percent approve of how he tackles his job, while the same percentage disapproves. His highest approval ratings were in April 2003, with 71 percent of Americans signaling their approval; his lowest rating came in December 2004 when 41 percent approved but 50 percent held the opposite view. And, there is a decided difference in America’s opinion of Rumsfeld, depending on political affiliation. He’s a Republican gem (73 percent have a favorable impression), and Democratic bane (64 percent disapprove). See a couple of the graphs here.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.