Alexander Meigs Haig, Jr.

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Alexander Haig, who has died aged 85 (in 2010), "commanded an infantry division in Vietnam, became a four-star general and later helped to bring about a final ceasefire; he served as White House Chief of Staff under Richard Nixon and played a leading crisis management role during Watergate; he became Supreme Allied Commander of Nato before serving for a year as Secretary of State to Ronald Reagan...

"After graduating, Haig served as a rifle platoon commander in Japan and Korea, seeing combat in the early stages of the Korean War. A bout of hepatitis resulted in his being sent home and he served, successively, as a tank commander at Fort Knox, tactical officer at West Point, and then exchange company officer at the US Naval Academy at Annapolis. From 1956 to 1959 he was assigned to the 899th Tank Battalion then to US Army Headquarters in Europe.

"After a series of desk jobs, in 1964 he was appointed deputy secretary of defence under Cyrus Vance and later Robert S. MacNamara. Two years later he was assigned to Vietnam, where he won a Distinguished Service Cross for his heroism while commanding a battalion of the 1st Infantry Division at the battle of Ag Pu. On his return to America in 1967 he was appointed a regimental commander with the corps of cadets at the US Military Academy and, a year later, deputy commander at West Point in the rank of colonel.

"In late 1968, Henry Kissinger, then Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, appointed Haig his military adviser on the National Security Council, where, as Kissinger recalled, he soon made himself indispensable: “He disciplined my anarchic tendencies and established coherence and procedure in a National Security Council staff of talented prima donnas”. Though he had little formal authority, Haig’s effectiveness and Kissinger’s high regard made him one of the key men in Washington. In 1969 he was promoted to brigadier-general...

"In September 1974 Haig returned to the armed forces as commander-in-chief of the US forces in Europe and, in December, as Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, in charge of Nato’s forces. During his four years at Nato, Haig devoted his energies to modernising the Western military to counteract the Soviet build-up in eastern Europe and won universal praise for his sensitive handling of Nato member states.

"In 1979, though, he resigned and later retired from the army because of disagreements with the Carter administration over what he regarded as its excessively accommodating approach to the Soviets.

"After a short period pursuing various outside interests, in 1980 the incoming President Ronald Reagan named Haig his Secretary of State, a decision warmly endorsed by his old boss Richard Nixon, who described him, approvingly, as “the meanest, toughest, most ambitious s.o.b.” he had ever known. Haig promoted a tough posture against the Soviet Union and a pro-Israel policy in the Middle East, but often found himself at odds with the more emollient Secretary of Defence Caspar Weinberger.

"After leaving the State Department in 1982, Haig established his own consulting firm, Worldwide Associates, and served as director of various major financial and manufacturing firms; he was a founding board member of America Online (AOL). He was the author of Caveat: Realism, Reagan and Foreign Policy (1984) and an autobiographical memoir, Inner Circles, How America Changed the World (1992).

"Alexander Haig married, in 1950, Patricia Fox, with whom he had two sons and a daughter." [1]

Retiring from the military in 1979, he became President of United Technologies, Inc. ...

"During his tenure as President of United Technologies, the nation's third largest defense contractor, revenues rose by more than $3 billion. General Haig has, also, been a member of the Board of Directors of such companies as Chase Manhattan, Texas Instruments, Crown Cork & Seal, and ConAgra. Presently, he is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Foreign Policy Research Institute, is a Director of America Online, MGM Grand, MGM/United Artists, Preferred Employee Group, and Interneuron Pharmaceuticals, and is a Senior Honorary Advisor to the Chinese Overseas Shipping Companies Group (COSCO), which is one of the largest corporations of the People's Republic of China. Tatra has identified substantial growth potential for its trucks in China and one of COSCO's entities is China's largest highway transportation companies." [2]

Critical ARticles

Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch


  1. Alexander Haig, Telegraph, accessed November 17, 2010.
  2. General Alexander Haig Joins SDC International ForTatra Acquisition.,, accessed November 17, 2010.
  3. General Alexander Haig Joins SDC International ForTatra Acquisition.,, accessed November 17, 2010.