Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

Events

Alexander Haig

Former Secretary of State

Major Issues Lecture Series

Topic: A Perspective on the Contemporary International Environment

Tuesday, October 10, 1989

Listen (Length: 38:40)

General Alexander M. Haig, Jr. graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 1947, and advanced through a variety of military and Pentagon assignments, including service in Japan, Korea, Europe and Vietnam, where he received the Distinguished Cross for heroism.

During the first Nixon Administration, he served as Senior Military Adviser to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs, Dr. Henry Kissinger. He later became Richard Nixon’s Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs.

He was promoted to full General in 1972.

During his four years in the White House ending in 1973, Gen. Haig made 14 trips to Southeast Asia as President Nixon’s personal emissary to negotiate the Vietnam cease-fire and the return of U.S. prisoners of war. Also, he coordinated preparations for President Nixon’s historic trip to China.

Gen. Haig was serving as Vice Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army when President Nixon appointed him in 1973 to rebuild the White House staff, which had been decimated by Watergate-related improprieties. The President subsequently named him to serve as White House Chief of Staff, at which point he retired from the military after 26 years of active service.

He served in the White House until fall 1974, when President Ford recalled him to active duty as Commander-in-Chief, U.S. European Command, and later as Supreme Allied Command in Europe, a position in which he was responsible for the integrated military forces of the 13-member nations of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). He held that post until 1979.

Following Ronald Reagan’s election as President in 1980, Gen. Haig was confirmed as the nation’s 59th Secretary of State a position he held for nearly a year-and-a-half.

After serving the White House, Gen. Haig wrote his first book, Caveat: Realism, Reagan and Foreign Policy, which was based on his three decades at the highest levels of government.

As a Republican candidate for President of the United States in 1987 and 1988, Gen. Haig campaigned on the theme of a “Renaissance of the American Spirit.”

Gen. Haig is currently president of his own private advisory firm, the Washington, D.C.-based Worldwide Associates, Inc. It assists public and private corporations, both in the United States and abroad, in developing and implementing marketing and acquisition strategies, in addition to providing strategic advice on the domestic and international political, economic and security environment.

Gen. Haig, who received a master’s degree in international relations from Georgetown University, attended Notre Dame University and pursued graduate studies in business administration at Columbia University.

He had been visiting statesman and executive at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public Affairs at Princeton University, a Chubb Fellow at Yale University, a senior fellow with the Hudson Institute and a guest lecturer at West Point and numerous colleges and universities. Also, Gen. Haig is a member of the board of directors or advisers for a number of corporations, centers, foundations and other institutions.

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