Editor's Note: The following is a web-only excerpt of Fareed Zakaria's interview with former U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Watch a special edition of CNN GPS ""9/11 and the World" at 1pm ET/10am PT this Sunday.
Fareed Zakaria: Did you immediately come to the conclusion that we are at war and that this is now a kind of a real turn in history?
Donald Rumsfeld: No. That day, George Tenet called me and told me that he had verified that it was al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden. And - and it was at that point where I became convinced that that's what it was and not some other thing that I might not have been aware of. I'd been involved with the problem of terrorism when I was President Reagan's Middle East envoy in the 1980s, after the Marines were killed at the Beirut Airport. But in fact, you used the word war. I avoided the word "war".
Fareed Zakaria: Why?
Donald Rumsfeld: I was uncomfortable with it and argued it internally, in the government. President Bush decided to call it the "Global War on Terror". War sounded, to me, too much like World War I or II or Korea or Vietnam. And I knew this was something that wouldn't be won by bullets. It was something that was going to be more like the cold war period, longer and requiring a competition of ideas and second, the implication, the use of the word "war" suggested that it was the Pentagon's job, as opposed to the society's job. And, third, the idea of warring on terror bothered me because terror is a technique. It's a tactic. You don't go engage in a war against tanks or airplanes or other methods of being aggressive.
Fareed Zakaria: Right.
Donald Rumsfeld: And so I tried to find a better solution to that phrase and I never did.