Wesley Clark

Wesley Clark Biography.com

General(1944–)
Wesley Clark is a military leader who rose to the top tier of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff and was NATO Supreme Allied Commander.

Synopsis

During his 34 years in the U.S. Army, Wesley Clark rose to the rank of four-star general and was named director for strategic plans and policy of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. As Supreme Allied Commander and Commander in Chief of the U.S. European Command, Clark commanded Operation Allied Force, NATO’s first major combat action, which saved 1.5 million Albanians from ethnic cleansing in Kosovo.

Profile

General. Born Wesley Kanne on December 23, 1944 in Chicago, Illinois. After his father, prosecutor and democratic politician Benjamin Kanne, died when Wesley was a young child, he and his mother moved to Little Rock, Arkansas. In 1954, his mother married Victor Clark, who became Wesley's stepfather. He graduated first in his class from the United States Military Academy at West Point and studied for two years at England's Oxford University on a Rhodes scholarship.

During his 34 years of service in the United States Army, Clark rose to the rank of 4-star General and NATO Supreme Allied Commander. He is the recipient of numerous U.S. and foreign military awards, including the Silver Star, Bronze Star and Purple Heart. In August 2000, Clark was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor.

In 1994, Clark was named director for strategic plans and policy of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, with responsibilities for worldwide U.S. military strategic planning. It was there that General Clark insisted that the Pentagon develop an exit strategy for the 1994 invasion of Haiti. In 1995, General Clark traveled to the Balkans as the military negotiator in a U.S. effort to end the war in Bosnia, playing a vital role in the Dayton peace talks. As Supreme Allied Commander and Commander in Chief of the United States European Command, Clark commanded Operation Allied Force, NATO's first major combat action, which saved 1.5 million Albanians from ethnic cleansing in Kosovo.

After retiring from the military, Clark joined Stephens Inc. as a consultant in July 2000 and served as Managing Director, Merchant Banking from 2001 to 2003. In early 2003, thousands of Americans launched a campaign to draft Clark to run for President; he announced his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination in September.

Clark and his wife, Gert, live in Little Rock, Arkansas. They have one son, Wesley. A frequent public speaker and commentator for CNN, he is the author of the best-selling Waging Modern War: Bosnia, Kosovo, and the Future of Combat. His most recent book, Winning Modern Wars, was published in October 2004.

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