When I learned, for example, that the Pentagon had been spending $225 million every year to maintain our forces in Iceland, I sent a memo to Powell recommending that we make a change. I pointed out that our aircraft originally had been stationed in Iceland to track Soviet subs in the North Atlantic. Now that there is no Soviet Union, they were spending their time helping Icelandic fishermen in distress. More than $2 billion had been spent since the end of the Cold War in 1989 to keep our aircraft in Iceland. I believed that the $4 billion we would be spending over the next twenty years could be better invested elsewhere. Even so, it took me three years of pressing and prodding – and the resulting loss of another $700 to $800 million to taxpayers- before I could get our military presence in Iceland renegotiated. This was accomplished over the continued opposition of the State Department. Iceland was a wake-up call for me. If it was that hard to change our posture there, changes elsewhere in the world would be even more difficult.
From Known and Unknown by Donald Rumsfeld