CHAPTER4Risk Management:Dealing with Uncertainty

In February 2002, during a news briefing, U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld addressed the absence of evidence linking the government of Iraq with the supply of weapons of mass destruction to terrorist groups by making a dodging statement:

As we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns; the ones we don’t know we don’t know. And if one looks throughout the history of our country and other free countries, it is the latter category that tends to be the difficult ones.1

The quote, long in use within the United States military establishment, ...

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