Alexander Haig dies.


Book Reviewer
The essence of a political general as you were ever likely to find. Reemeber seeing him being interviewed by Ali G in the late 1990's and he managed to handle the 'experience' surprisingly well! Interestingly he popularised the wearing of maroon beret wearing among US Army airborne forces in the 1970s before it became officially endorsed. I think it was a habit he picked up from the Bundesheer. I guess he'll be best remembered here for his failed peace-shuttle in the lead up to the Falklands War.

BBC - Alexander Haig dead


Book Reviewer
That and the fact that on one Ex Reforger in the 70's he gave the order to unleash the instant sunshine on Orange Force.


Book Reviewer
Mr_Fingerz said:
That and the fact that on one Ex Reforger in the 70's he gave the order to unleash the instant sunshine on Orange Force.
Yeah he was a renowned 'hawk' who scared a lot of people with his willingness to use tactical nukes in Europe as a warning to the Soviets.

Alexander Haig said:
There are contingency plans in the Nato doctrine to fire a nuclear weapon for demonstrative purposes, to demonstrate to the other side that they are exceeding the limits of toleration in the conventional area
I hadn't quite realised the extent of his ambitiousness. This is a quite revealing insight:

today's Observer said:
Haig was a ruthless man who never lost his military demeanour. He believed in the muscular ­projection of American power abroad, and a ­commitment to conservative politics at home. His most high-profile job was as Nixon's chief of staff, where he succeeded Bob Haldeman, who had resigned in April 1973 under pressure from the Watergate prosecutors.

During those tumultuous years, with Nixon clinging to power, Haig's influence grew as other senior leaders, and the president, became distracted. In the end he played a vital role in persuading Nixon to resign – even though earlier he had controversially tried to suppress moves to force the president from office.

At one stage Haig was responsible for ordering the removal of Nixon's tranquillisers, and denying his requests for pills, after the president had mentioned suicide. During that period Haig was probably at his most powerful, but his fate was to see Gerald Ford, the vice-president, take over. Under Reagan, he became secretary of state. After Reagan was shot during an assassination attempt in 1981, an incident unfolded that revealed the extent of his ambition, and damaged his reputation.

As the president lay stricken in hospital, Haig effectively declared himself the acting president to members of the cabinet – despite not being next-in-line. He then appeared on television, telling a concerned nation: "I am in control here, in the White House." Haig's actions left a sour taste in the mouth for many colleagues and the public, something he later came to understand. One of his biographers once said that Haig knew the third paragraph of his obituary would mention the incident.
He was wrong. But only just. In the New York Times online obituary yesterday, it was in the second paragraph.
article link

Edited to add: I've just browsed through the NY Times Obit and his service history reads like a political fast-track:

Serving the Nixon White House from 1969 to 1974, Mr. Haig went from colonel to four-star general without holding a major battlefield command, an extraordinary rise with few if any precedents in American military history.
As a young lieutenant, he went to Japan to serve as an aide to Gen. Alonzo P. Fox, deputy chief of staff to Gen. Douglas MacArthur, the supreme allied commander and American viceroy of the Far East.

In 1950, Mr. Haig married the general’s daughter.
Some officers just aren't destined for ordinary careers.

Similar threads

Latest Threads