GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld spoke on U.S. involvement in Syria Tuesday when he have a lecture at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids.
The 81-year-old Rumsfeld served as defense secretary under Ford and President George W. Bush.
The free event shared a title with Rumsfeld's latest book: "Rumsfeld's Rules: Leadership Lessons in Business, Politics, War and Life." It was sponsored by the Ford museum as well as the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation.
When speaking to 24 Hour News 8, he was at first hesitant to weigh in on Syria and the Middle East.
"It's a troubled part of the world," he said.
But during his lecture, he made it known how he thinks the U.S. should handle Syria.
"You either ought to change the regime or you ought to do nothing. Why would you go in and fire a shot across the bow? All it does is make a splash. What have you achieved?" he said. "If you approach it from a minimalist standpoint, what you've probably achieved is the embarrassment of the United States."
But that doesn't appear to be what's on the table in Washington, where Congress is about to meet to decide whether to approve at least some limited involvement in the region after President Barack Obama asked for their permission for military action. It's likely that the U.S. plans some sort of narrow guided missile strike.
In the past two days, several Republican leaders have said that they are leaning toward supporting the president's request.
Rumsfeld was critical of how Obama is handling the crisis.
"The president is not, in my view, providing the kind of leadership that I think almost any leadership in my lifetime would be providing," Rumsfeld said. "You have to have a vision, you have to know what you are going to do. And you have to provide the kind of leadership a commander in chief would provide."
Rumsfeld also said he thinks Iraq and Afghanistan are better off after U.S. intervention -- perhaps not surprisingly, since those conflicts started on his watch. He did seem to indicate that U.S. was not the right country to continue involvement there.
He was also somewhat critical of the nation's involvement in Egypt.
"If the people in Egypt today believe that the U.S. supported the Islamists -- the Muslim Brotherhood -- they can't imagine why. And I can't, either," he told 24 Hour News 8.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
One person is dead after firefighters found the victim's body inside a condominium complex in Kalamazoo Township that was on fire Wednesday afternoon.
11 fire departments from several counties were called out to a fire at an adult entertainment club Wednesday afternoon.
Holland police were searching for 28-year-old Mark Steven Randall Harris, who was considered armed and dangerous, but arrested him late Wednesday night.