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obituary; Alexander Haig.

DURING a high-profile and turbulent political career, he served as President Richard Nixon's White House Chief of Staff, became Supreme Allied Commander of Nato and was President Ronald Reagan's Secretary of State.

But, on this side of the Atlantic, Alexander Haig, who has died, aged 85, may be best remembered for his concerted - but ultimately vain - attempts to prevent full-scale war in the Falklands, following the Argentine invasion.

His "shuttle diplomacy" involved meetings with Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in London and General Galtieri in Buenos Aires - but the talks came to nothing.

His failed efforts to broker a peace deal signalled the end of his political career - he resigned in July, 1982 (he did, however, run for the Republican presidential nomination in 1988, but was unsuccessful).

Alexander Meigs Haig was born in Pennsylvania and, after university, secured a place at West Point Military Academy, before later studying business administration and then international relations.

He then served as a rifle platoon commander in Japan and Korea. Later, while serving in Vietnam, he was awarded a Distinguished Service Cross.

In 1968, Henry Kissinger, who was Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, appointed him as his military adviser on the National Security Council, then, in 1969, President Nixon appointed him deputy assistant on national security affairs and, three years later, he became major-general.

In 1973, Haig helped bring about a final ceasefire in the Vietnam war and, that same year, blighted by the Watergate scandal, Nixon made him his chief of staff.

It was said to be the most significant job of his life, as he effectively ran the White House during the 15 months up to Nixon's resignation in 1974. Seven years later, he again enjoyed great power as secretary of state for the first 18 months of Ronald Reagan's presidency. In later life, Haig was a director of a number of companies, and became a commentator for Fox News.

He is survived by wife, Patricia, a daughter and two sons.

Alexander Meigs Haig, soldier, politician, businessman; born, December 2, 1924, died, February 20, 2010
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Article Type:Obituary
Date:Feb 23, 2010
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