Haig Jr., Alexander M. (ON HOLD)


1984 TLS of the Army general, Nixon-Ford White House Chief of Staff, Reagan Secretary of State 1981-82


Type: Letter
Description: (1924–2010) US Army general, White House Chief of Staff under Presidents Nixon & Ford, Secretary of State (Reagan). Army Vice Chief of Staff and Supreme Allied Commander Europe  (SACEUR) commanding US & NATO forces in Europe. He served in the Korean and Vietnam wars.

USMA 1947, earned a 1955 MBA from Columbia Business School and a 1961 Masters in international relations from Georgetown. In 1969 he was appointed military assistant to presidential assistant for national security affairs Henry Kissinger. In 1970, President Nixon promoted him to deputy assistant to the president for national security affairs, promoted to Major General March 1972. He helped South Vietnamese President Thieu negotiate final cease-fire talks in 1972. In 1973, he was appointed Army Vice Chief of Staff, skipping rank of Lieutenant General. When named White House Chief of Staff May 1973 at the height of the Watergate Affair (he replaced H. R. Haldeman), he retained his Army commission. He was credited with keeping the government running while Nixon was preoccupied with Watergate, seen as the “acting president” in Nixon’s last months in office. In July-early August 1974, Haig was instrumental in persuading Nixon to resign, presenting several pardon options to VP Ford a few days before Nixon eventually resigned. He played a major role in the negotiations of the Nixon-Ford transfer of power and Ford’s pardon of Nixon.

He was replaced by Donald Rumsfeld in Sept. 1974, named SACEUR, CinCUSEUR and NATO commander 1974-79, retiring as a 4-star general 1979, moving on to civilian employment. He was 2nd of 3 career military officers to be Secretary of State (G. C. Marshall & Colin Powell the others), serving Jan. 1981-July 1982. After the March 30, 1981 assassination attempt on President Reagan, he told reporters that, with Reagan’s hospitalization, “I am in control here”, a statement reflecting political reality, not legal reality. He was in fact directing White House crisis management until VP Bush arrived in Washington to assume that role. As Secretary he often clashed with Defense Secretary Weinberger and other administration members. He unsuccessfully sought the 1988 GOP presidential nomination.

See https://www.americanheritage.com/secret-coup-white-house by Ray Locker in the October 2020 American Heritage magazine, Vol. 65 #6. Recently declassified documents reveal that Alexander Haig and other White House staff actively worked to remove Richard Nixon — the President they worked for — from office.

TLS “Al Haig” on 11 x 8 1/2 “Office of Alexander M. Haig, Jr.” engraved letterhead, no place, August 8 1984, to Neil Carter, Orange, New Jersey. Haig thanks Carter for his congratulatory letter on publication of Haig’s book “Caveat – Realism, Reagan and Foreign Policy”. Haig hopes Carter has fully recovered from his illness “…and will be in a position to continue to express your views on matters that relate to our national interest, both domestic and foreign.” In his 1st book, Caveat: Realism, Reagan, and Foreign Policy, Haig wrote about his 18 months as Reagan’s Secretary of State and the challenges and issues he and the Department encountered. In Caveat, Haig described a chaotic administration controlled by a handful of the president’s staff members.”

Condition: Very good, 2 mail folds

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