When Rummy tried to nuke Russia
Herein lies an aspect of Rumsfeld's career -- and character -- that remained deeply buried even after word of his participation in the COG exercises leaked out. Faced with the most awesome choices a simulated environment could present, placed in a situation that was designed and advertised as a rehearsal for what might one day be terrifyingly real, Rumsfeld had one primary response. He always tried to unleash the maximum amount of nuclear firepower possible.
The teams taking part in the game were presented with two main tasks: reconstitution of some sort of working government, and retaliation against whomever had inflicted the disaster. The first of these, reconstruction, was generally considered the most urgent. But this part, according to fellow players, did not interest Rumsfeld. "He always wanted to move on to retaliation as quickly as possible," recalls a former senior official in the office of the secretary of defense, "he was one who always went for the extreme option."