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Haig speaks back

Keith Kyle, 17 May 1984

by Alexander Haig.
Weidenfeld, 367 pp., £12.95, April 1984, 9780297783848
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... John F. Kennedy met Dean Rusk for the first time when he interviewed him for the job: Reagan and Haig had seen each other three times before the Election of 1980 but on only one of these occasions, shortly before Reagan’s nomination, had there been anything that might be described as a talk. Then they traded political clichés and thought that they were at ...


Arthur Gavshon, 6 June 1985

The Falklands War: Lessons for Strategy, Diplomacy and International Law 
edited by Alberto Coll and Anthony Arend.
Allen and Unwin, 252 pp., £18, May 1985, 0 04 327075 1
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... display something of an Establishment bias that reflects the influence of Ronald Reagan and Alexander Haig, who, from the outset, identified philosophically and geopolitically with Mrs Thatcher’s cause. They had their own good reasons for doing so. After all, Mrs Thatcher had taken the initiative among European leaders in supporting the US policy ...

Sleepless Afternoons

Avi Shlaim, 25 February 1993

The Passionate Attachment: America’s Involvement with Israel 
by George Ball and Douglas Ball.
Norton, 382 pp., £17.95, January 1993, 0 393 02933 6
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... problem. The globalists, on the other hand, like Richard Nixon, Henry Kissinger, Ronald Reagan and Alexander Haig, looked at the Middle East as just one arena in their global fight against the Soviet Union. For them Israel was not part of the problem, but part of the solution. The State Department, where George Ball had served as under-secretary in the ...
The Sinking of the ‘Belgrano’ 
by Desmond Rice and Arthur Gavshon.
Secker, 192 pp., £8.95, March 1984, 0 436 41332 9
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Our Falklands War 
edited by Geoffrey Underwood.
Maritime Books, 144 pp., £3.95, November 1983, 0 907771 08 4
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... in their dispute over the Falklands. The basic document was drawn up by US Secretary of State Alexander Haig and transmitted to the Argentine Government by the Peruvian President. He said that long and continuous contacts between the two sides began yesterday, continued last night and early this morning and will be published tonight. Belaunde said ...

Guerrilla International

Caroline Moorehead, 6 August 1981

The Terror Network: The Secret War of International Terrorism 
by Claire Sterling.
Weidenfeld, 357 pp., £7.95, June 1981, 0 297 77968 0
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... where it has been on the best-seller list. At his first press conference as Secretary of State, Alexander Haig told his audience that the Soviet Union had a ‘conscious policy’ of ‘training, funding and equipping’ the agents of international terrorism. Later, he added that there were now ‘thousands of embryo-terrorists’ in ‘Kremlin-backed ...

Falklands Retrospect

Hugo Young, 17 August 1989

The Little Platoon: Diplomacy and the Falklands Dispute 
by Michael Charlton.
Blackwell, 230 pp., £14.95, June 1989, 0 631 16564 9
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... to conduct public post-mortems on the casualties of their time in office: and Caspar Weinberger, Alexander Haig and Jeane Kirkpatrick parade candidly before the microphone. British officials are congenitally more reticent, yet a large team of the lately retired from the Foreign Office and the military also made themselves available. Together with the ...


Jon Halliday, 2 June 1983

In the Service of the Peacock Throne: The Diaries of the Shah’s Last Ambassador to London 
by Parviz Radji.
Hamish Hamilton, 343 pp., £12.50, April 1983, 0 241 10960 4
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... three of the four people who have had information about themselves embargoed: Princess Ashraf, Alexander Haig and Richard (‘Dick’) Helms. Manifestly evasive though the diaries are, they are nonetheless exceptionally illuminating on two issues: on the last years of the Shah’s regime, seen from the inside; and on how to try to nobble Britain’s ...

Done Deal

Christopher Hitchens: Nixon in China, 5 April 2001

A Great Wall: Six Presidents and China 
by Patrick Tyler.
PublicAffairs, 512 pp., £11.99, September 2000, 1 58648 005 7
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... Chinese leaders had learned many of the American pressure points. Indeed they had. (General Alexander Haig and Henry Kissinger are only two of Christopher’s Foggy Bottom predecessors to have franchised their expertise in this way.) Warren Christopher returned to Washington to find that Clinton was determined to dump the ‘linkage’ policy on ...

Omnipresent Eye

Patrick Wright: The Nixon/Mao Show, 16 August 2007

Seize the Hour: When Nixon Met Mao 
by Margaret MacMillan.
Murray, 384 pp., £25, October 2006, 0 7195 6522 7
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... wording of the Shanghai Communiqué. Much of this had been prepared by Kissinger and his assistant Alexander Haig during earlier visits. The State Department was left out of the negotiations over its wording and refused access to the full text until it was completed. When they finally saw it, Rogers and his officials raised alarms about the failure to ...


Bernard Porter: The Falklands War, 20 October 2005

The Official History of the Falklands Campaign. Vol. I: The Origins of the Falklands War 
by Lawrence Freedman.
Routledge, 253 pp., £35, June 2005, 0 7146 5206 7
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The Official History of the Falklands Campaign. Vol. II: War and Diplomacy 
by Lawrence Freedman.
Routledge, 849 pp., £49.95, June 2005, 0 7146 5207 5
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... arrival) negotiations continued to try to get the two sides together, brokered by the UN, the US (Alexander Haig) and latterly Peru. They foundered on intransigence from both sides, though part of the game was for each to try to make the other seem more intransigent. ‘It is rapidly becoming a question of who wrong-foots whom when the negotiations break ...

Sucking up to P

Greg Grandin: Henry Kissinger’s Vanity, 29 November 2007

Nixon and Kissinger: Partners in Power 
by Robert Dallek.
Allen Lane, 740 pp., £30, August 2007, 978 0 7139 9796 5
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Henry Kissinger and the American Century 
by Jeremi Suri.
Harvard, 368 pp., £18.95, July 2007, 978 0 674 02579 0
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... White House memos, and the papers and diaries of H.R. Haldeman, Nixon’s chief of staff, and Alexander Haig, Kissinger’s deputy at the National Security Council. In more than seven hundred pages, it is hard to find one foreign policy initiative that was not also conducted for domestic gain, to quiet dissent, best rivals, or make Nixon look like a ...

By San Carlos Water

Neal Ascherson, 18 November 1982

Authors take sides on the Falklands 
edited by Cecil Woolf and Jean Moorcroft Wilson.
Cecil Woolf, 144 pp., £4.95, August 1982, 0 900821 63 9
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The Falklands War: The Full Story 
by the Sunday Times ‘Insight’ Team.
Deutsch and Sphere, 276 pp., £2.50, October 1982, 0 233 97515 2
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The Winter War: The Falklands 
by Patrick Bishop and John Witherow.
Quartet, 153 pp., £2.95, September 1982, 0 7043 3424 0
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Iron Britannia: Why Parliament waged its Falklands war 
by Anthony Barnett.
Allison and Busby, 160 pp., £2.95, November 1982, 0 85031 494 1
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Falklands/Malvinas: Whose Crisis? 
by Martin Honeywell.
Latin American Bureau, 135 pp., £1.95, September 1982, 0 906156 15 7
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Los Chicos de la Guerra 
by Daniel Kon.
Editorial Galerna, Buenos Aires, August 1982
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A Message from the Falklands: The Life and Gallant Death of David Tinker, Lieut RN 
compiled by Hugh Tinker.
Junction, 224 pp., £3.50, November 1982, 0 86245 102 7
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... possibilities for a negotiated peace. President Belaunde Terry of Peru, with some help from Alexander Haig, had advanced his proposal that both sides should withdraw (the British landings had not yet taken place), that a third party should temporarily administer the islands, and that a settlement should be reached within a fixed time-limit. The ...


David Runciman: Thatcher’s Rise, 6 June 2013

Margaret Thatcher: The Authorised Biography. Vol. I: Not for Turning 
by Charles Moore.
Allen Lane, 859 pp., £30, April 2013, 978 0 7139 9282 3
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... had scuppered the whole enterprise. So it was essential that Reagan and his secretary of state, Alexander Haig, listen to Thatcher, not Kirkpatrick. To achieve this, Thatcher deliberately avoided getting sucked into geopolitical discussions with the president and his representatives. She stuck to a few basic points of principle – invasion of ...

Death of the Hero

Michael Howard, 7 January 1988

The Mask of Command 
by John Keegan.
Cape, 366 pp., £12.95, November 1987, 9780224019491
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... different in different epochs, as society and technology develop. Keegan presents four examples: Alexander the Great, a ‘heroic’ commander; the Duke of Wellington, an ‘anti-heroic’ commander; Ulysses S. Grant, a supremely unheroic commander; and a little surprisingly, Hitler, a man seldom thought of as a military commander at all but in practice a ...

Is Syria next?

Charles Glass, 24 July 2003

... they said, ‘by the wisdom and insight of a distinguished Steering Group that included . . . Alexander Haig Jr, Max Kampelman, Anthony Lake, Samuel Lewis, Joseph Lieberman, Paul Wolfowitz and Mortimer Zuckerman’. Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld’s Deputy Secretary of Defense, is, along with Perle, best known as an architect of the regime change in ...

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