Miami - The top US general on Thursday defended the leadership of defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld, saying it is inspired by God.
“He leads in a way that the good Lord tells him is best for our country,” said marine General Peter Pace, chair of the joint chiefs of staff.
Rumsfeld is “a man whose patriotism focus, energy, drive, is exceeded by no one else I know … quite simply, he works harder than anybody else in our building”, Pace said at a ceremony in Miami.
Rumsfeld has faced a storm of criticism and calls for his resignation, largely over his handling of the Iraq war.
But he got a strong show of support from the military establishment at Thursday’s ceremony, where navy Admiral James Stavridis took over Southcom’s command from General Bantz Craddock.
“He comes to work every day with a single-minded focus to make this country safe,” said Stavridis, who was a senior aide to Rumsfeld before taking on the Southcom job.