Secretaries of State Since WWII

This section gives information on each Secretary of State since World War II.  In addition to brief text and references, video clips on several are also included.



Alexander M. Haig, Jr. -- 1981-1982

General Alexander Haig served as a young officer under General Douglas McArthur in occupied Japan and then saw combat in both Korea and Vietnam. He entered the White House as a military aide during the Nixon presidency and rose to become Chief of Staff during the transition to the Ford Administration. Highly experienced and well known for his hawkish positions on defense issues when he became Secretary of State under President Ronald Reagan, he undertook several ambitious diplomatic negotiations during his tenure, including attempting to help negotiate an Arab-Israeli peace agreement and to use “shuttle diplomacy” to find a resolution to the “Falklands War” between Argentina and the United Kingdom. His July 1982 resignation is often attributed to policy differences, such as his unwillingness to negotiate arms agreements with the Soviet Union, a position that put him at odds with other national security officials in the Reagan administration.

  • Haig, Alexander M, Jr. Caveat: Realism, Reagan and Foreign Policy. New York: Macmillan, 1984.
  • Haig, Alexander M. Jr. Inner Circles: How America Changed the World. New York: Warner Books. 1992.