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Last Updated: Wednesday, 8 November 2006, 20:01 GMT
In pictures: Rumsfeld's career

US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld (26 September 2006)

US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is to leave office after damaging losses for Republicans in the US mid-term elections.

US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld (far left) (13 September 2001) with the US president and Condoleezza Rice

Very close to US President George W Bush, Mr Rumsfeld was seen as the architect of the US-led war in Iraq, a war that became the central issue of this election campaign.

Donald Rumsfeld meets Saddam Hussein as an envoy for former US President Ronald Reagan (20 Dec 1983)

He has been both the youngest and the oldest defence secretary in US history. In between, he met Saddam Hussein as an envoy for then President Ronald Reagan in 1983.

US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld stands in his office (20 November 2003)

Famed for his acerbic style, he aimed to transform the army - making it into a leaner, meaner and faster machine.

US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld visits Camp X-ray (27 Jan 2002)

But US troops, many having served double terms of duty, eventually rounded on Mr Rumsfeld, complaining that they were left under-equipped.

US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld answers questions during a Senate inquiry (7 May 2004)

As the war progressed, his famed conviction and confidence on Iraq turned sour as he was accused of rushing into Iraq ill-prepared.

US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld

The Abu Ghraib scandal further damaged his reputation. His critics lambasted him for starting a war with no exit strategy.




VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Key moments from Mr Rumsfeld's career





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