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IPFS News Link • Foreign Policy

Laziest memo ever? Rumsfeld asked undersecretary to deal with other countries


In 2003, Secretary of State Donald Rumsfeld sent to an associate what may well be the laziest memo of all time -- especially on orders of high importance.

The Atlantic's Alexis Madrigal dug through the digital archives at and uncovered an extraordinary message Rumsfeld sent to Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith.

In no more than 56 words, Rumsfeld managed to ask Feith to find solutions to US foreign relations issues in Syria, Libya, Iraq, Pakistan, and Korea.

He offered no guidance on what the issues were or how to deal with any of them, other than invoking "coercive diplomacy" -- a broad concept if there ever was one -- for Syria and Libya.