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Thu Nov 29, 2012, 02:30 AM

Which Position In The Administration Would You Like To See General Wesley Clark Offered?

Just been discussing this in the E&E group in a thread about him being Energy Secretary http://www.democraticunderground.com/112729573 and thought it worth posing the question here.

Any ideas why Wesley Clark hasn't been tapped for any positions since President Obama was elected in 2008?

Also, while we're at it, what position, if any, would you like to see him being offered?
35 votes, 2 passes | Time left: Unlimited
Secretary Of State
7 (20%)
Secretary Of Defense
18 (51%)
Secretary Of Energy
0 (0%)
Secretary Of National Security
2 (6%)
Secretary Of Natural Resources
0 (0%)
Secretary Of ?????
0 (0%)
None
8 (23%)
Show usernames
Disclaimer: This is an Internet poll

60 replies, 4263 views

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Arrow 60 replies Author Time Post
Reply Which Position In The Administration Would You Like To See General Wesley Clark Offered? (Original post)
Turborama Nov 2012 OP
JI7 Nov 2012 #1
Rowdyboy Nov 2012 #2
Le Taz Hot Nov 2012 #5
Turborama Nov 2012 #7
Le Taz Hot Nov 2012 #14
patrice Nov 2012 #34
patrice Nov 2012 #35
Turborama Nov 2012 #6
Michigan Alum Nov 2012 #3
Turborama Nov 2012 #8
pnwmom Nov 2012 #4
Turborama Nov 2012 #10
sabrina 1 Nov 2012 #9
Turborama Nov 2012 #11
sabrina 1 Nov 2012 #13
Le Taz Hot Nov 2012 #16
sabrina 1 Nov 2012 #23
bowens43 Nov 2012 #12
Lightbulb_on Nov 2012 #15
joshcryer Nov 2012 #17
OldDem2012 Nov 2012 #22
HereSince1628 Nov 2012 #36
OldDem2012 Nov 2012 #48
HereSince1628 Nov 2012 #49
loyalsister Nov 2012 #19
Auntie Bush Nov 2012 #43
TorchTheWitch Nov 2012 #18
patrice Nov 2012 #30
spanone Nov 2012 #20
sabrina 1 Nov 2012 #24
NightWatcher Nov 2012 #29
Fawke Em Nov 2012 #40
Starry Messenger Nov 2012 #21
patrice Nov 2012 #28
quinnox Nov 2012 #25
sabrina 1 Nov 2012 #27
patrice Nov 2012 #26
thelordofhell Nov 2012 #31
grasswire Nov 2012 #32
grasswire Nov 2012 #33
DeltaLitProf Nov 2012 #37
Fawke Em Nov 2012 #39
Fawke Em Nov 2012 #38
GoCubsGo Nov 2012 #46
slackmaster Nov 2012 #41
LineLineReply .
Fawke Em Nov 2012 #44
LynneSin Nov 2012 #42
northoftheborder Nov 2012 #45
MrSlayer Nov 2012 #47
Turborama Nov 2012 #50
LeftyLucy22 Nov 2012 #51
JDPriestly Nov 2012 #52
Turborama Nov 2012 #55
Stinky The Clown Nov 2012 #53
Lefta Dissenter Nov 2012 #54
jberryhill Nov 2012 #56
LineLineNew Reply !
Turborama Nov 2012 #57
jberryhill Nov 2012 #58
Edith Komes Dec 2012 #59
OKNancy Dec 2012 #60

Response to Turborama (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 02:33 AM

1. i think they just don't know each other well and he hasn't been in public office

so there isn't some record that he could look to and decide if he wants him for some position.

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Response to Turborama (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 02:40 AM

2. Actually I've seen several mentions of Wes on DU . He's a hero of mine so I notice....

Sadly, no one in the Obama administration seems to notice. Honestly, I don't understand. He is (to my perspective) the perfect spokesperson for this administration. Maybe they know something about him that I don't-thats really the only excuse I can come up with.

In my honest opinion (not IMHO-he deserves real words) Wes Clark is the most underutilized resource in America today. Why our president (who I admire immensely) refuses to see that escapes me.

Again, maybe they know something about him that I don't. But I don't really believe that. He's too damn good. Mehhhh.....

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Response to Rowdyboy (Reply #2)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 04:23 AM

5. And the second most under-utilized resource in America

is Howard Dean, who they've also relegated to the hinterlands. IMO, says a LOT about this administration.

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Response to Le Taz Hot (Reply #5)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 05:00 AM

7. Agreed

He seriously deserves his own poll here, too. If you've got the time...?

Thanks for your spot on answer, too.

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Response to Turborama (Reply #7)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 05:47 AM

14. I'm not sure I'd have enough choices for a poll.

I can think of head of FDA (hellofa lot better than the current MONSANTO LAWYER Obama has in there). I thought Surgeon General but he's not a surgeon. The thing is, he's so popular among most Democrats I remain gobsmacked that this Administration can't seem to find a place for him. He's a master organizer, smart as hell, charismatic and a loyal Democrat even after this Administration has completely shit on him.

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Response to Le Taz Hot (Reply #5)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 02:48 PM

34. I go to the max, trying to understand stuff, but this I CANNOT understand. &

My best explanation is Hillary, which, though I'd be attracted to her (now) under other circumstances, that particular explanation, DLC suppression of the Dean constituency, IS a deal breaker for me and Hillary.

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Response to Le Taz Hot (Reply #5)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 02:51 PM

35. The party owes Bill & his call on Dean is on the invoice. nt

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Response to Rowdyboy (Reply #2)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 04:57 AM

6. Just added a poll

Thought you'd be interested to know.

Thanks for your spot on answer, by the way.

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Response to Turborama (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 03:43 AM

3. Yes!!

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Response to Michigan Alum (Reply #3)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 05:03 AM

8. Cool answer!

Thanks!

If you've got the time, it'd be interesting to see what you'd vote for in the new poll I've added...

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Response to Turborama (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 03:45 AM

4. Maybe he should be nominated to replace Hillary. n/t

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #4)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 05:28 AM

10. I've been thinking the same thing

Or any of the above, really.

Thanks for adding to the suggestions.

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Response to Turborama (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 05:25 AM

9. He's too Liberal for this administration regarding US foreign policies.

He's not the only one who has been passed over by this administration in favor of republicans, such as Gates and Petreaus and Huntsman, and now we are hearing yet another Republican for SOS, Sen. Luger.

You would think we do not have any Democrats in this country who are smart enough to be appointed to positions of power in a democratic administration.

We throw Republicans out, then Democrats invite them back in. It's beginning to raise questions about the direction of this party.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #9)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 05:34 AM

11. 1st I've heard about Luger

That's very disappointing! Where's that news coming from?

As usual, you come up with an excellent summation, my dear friend.

Thank you for your vote in the poll (the 1st of many, I hope)!

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Response to Turborama (Reply #11)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 05:45 AM

13. It's a rumor circulating which has not been confirmed. However it is believable

since he already is part of this administration and as I said, this administration seems determined to include Republicans in the cabinet making it look more like a bi-partisan Committee, than a Democratic administration.

That was one of the first and biggest disappointments after the 2008 election, Obama's choices for his cabinet. I think the only Progressive I can think of was Van Jones, and as soon Breitbart began his smears against him, the Administration basically let him go, and he was a great Environmentalist.

I was hoping that this time it would be different, but Obama likes moderate Republicans better than Progressive Dems. He did say that Reagan was his most admired president and slammed FDR, incorrectly btw, so we know Obama is not a real Progressive Dem but the choice was him or Romney.

I'm hoping there will be a time when we can elect a real Progressive who does not pander to Republicans. But big money makes that harder and harder to do.

No Democratic President should be putting Republicans back in power, imo.

Good seeing you around Turborama

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #9)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 06:29 AM

16. Luger????

Oh, good god!

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Response to Le Taz Hot (Reply #16)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 02:31 PM

23. Um, did you read what I was responding to?

No, not Luger, the question in the OP was about Wesley Clark, who I supported in 2004 and am familiar with his views on foreign policy. He is too liberal for this administration which is what I meant.

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Response to Turborama (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 05:43 AM

12. I never understood DUs fascination with this guy

the last we thing we need is a military man in the administration....



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Response to bowens43 (Reply #12)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 06:24 AM

15. Frankly, the administration, Senate and House...

 

... could use some more Veterans.

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Response to bowens43 (Reply #12)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 06:38 AM

17. There are two types of military men.

Those who blindly follow, and those who lead.

Clark is one who leads.

He'd be an excellent DoD guy because he would cut through the bullshit and tell Obama that US imperialism is not a good strategy.

The last DoD guys were followers, full on army men who only cared about expanding the army.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #17)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 09:09 AM

22. +1. We need a Secretary of Defense who has actually been wounded in combat....

....Clark was wounded in four different places during one battle during the Vietnam War and understands the true human cost of war.

Additionally, he knows what the DoD needs as opposed to what they say they need.

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Response to OldDem2012 (Reply #22)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 02:56 PM

36. Why? I don't see really that as terribly important.

As a vietnam vet I hate to watch the chickenhawks do their war dances as happened in the Bush administration, but a civilian leader of the defense dept doesn't have to behave like a chickenhawk.

A defense sec really needs to have the personality that can support the desires of civilian leadership regarding the use of force in diplomacy and/or conflict especially when those desires don't go his/her way.

SecDef requires a personality that can't be easily knocked over by flag officers. And the SecDef is responsible for managing the spending of the largest agency in the world, so the6re is a real need for someone who isn't intimidated by the scale of that task or the power controlled by the people who are being led.






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Response to HereSince1628 (Reply #36)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 06:13 PM

48. Your subject line is your PERSONAL opinion and that's fine....

...but I don't get why you're trying to lecture me on the job description of a Secretary of Defense. Are you trying to tell me Clark doesn't have the skill and ability to handle the job? Do you actually believe he would be intimidated by any part of that job or the personalities with whom he would need to interact?

Out of the twenty-one SecDefs to have served since Eisenhower's Presidency, thirteen had military experience. Only four actually saw combat, and of those four, two received Purple Hearts:

* Thomas Sovereign Gates, Jr. was Ike's last Secretary of Defense from 1959-1961. He saw combat with the Navy in the Pacific during WWII;

* Melvin Laird, Nixon's first Secretary of Defense from 1969-1973, was wounded in the Pacific during WWII while also serving with the Navy.

* Elliot Richardson acted as Nixon's second Secretary of Defense for a very brief period of time in 1973. A D-Day veteran, he was later wounded in combat while serving with the Army in Europe during WWII.

* Caspar Weinberger was Reagan's first Secretary of Defense from 1981-1987. He experienced combat while serving in the Army in the Pacific Theater during WWII.

So, for the last twenty-five years we've had nobody heading up Defense who actually experienced combat in any way, and thirty-nine years since we had a SecDef who received a Purple Heart. Additionally, the last combat veteran to lead the Defense Department came out of WWII.



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Response to OldDem2012 (Reply #48)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 06:43 PM

49. I'm saying I don't understand your position, and explaining the basis of mine

in an attempt to get a clarification...


That's just part of conversation in most of the civilized parts of the intertubes.

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Response to bowens43 (Reply #12)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 08:55 AM

19. Especially when he has stayed out of the spotlight

The fact that he has not been making public comments and trying to make himself politically relevant indicates to me that he is not likely to be interested.
I think a strong SOS usually has recent history of work in current world affairs.

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Response to bowens43 (Reply #12)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 03:26 PM

43. I see we can STILL count on you to post something negative regarding Wes Clark.

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Response to Turborama (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 06:39 AM

18. I'd have to say none

As much as I think he'd be great at several things I simply just don't like at all what this administration has been doing either economically or with foreign policy and wouldn't want to see him have to carry their Repub lite water.


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Response to TorchTheWitch (Reply #18)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 02:40 PM

30. +1 - not just him, but who's around him . . . ??? We NEED change NOW. nt

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Response to Turborama (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 08:56 AM

20. isn't he busy with a reality show?

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Response to spanone (Reply #20)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 02:33 PM

24. Got a link?

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Response to spanone (Reply #20)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 02:38 PM

29. it got cancelled due to low ratings and trivialization of war

Ok, I added the second part, but that's what it looked like to me. No one wants to see celebrities play war while friends and neighbors are fighting and dying. I have a friend on his 6th year of rotating in and out of the ME theater.


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Response to NightWatcher (Reply #29)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 03:02 PM

40. It actually started as a good thing.

Everyone on the show was earning cash to give to military charity.

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Response to Turborama (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 09:02 AM

21. I think the CIA has an opening this month?

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Response to Starry Messenger (Reply #21)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 02:38 PM

28. That sounds like a good fit. nt

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Response to Turborama (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 02:33 PM

25. Sec. of State, but defense is good too

 

The guy would be a perfect fit in either one of those roles.

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Response to quinnox (Reply #25)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 02:38 PM

27. I agree, he would be great as Sec Of Def

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Response to Turborama (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 02:37 PM

26. Don't know enough about Clark's specific commitments on the issues related to those

possibilities and, hence, how other issues will be affected by the ascendance of his network, to answer your poll. Pass.

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Response to Turborama (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 02:41 PM

31. I always thought he would make a good Vice President

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Response to Turborama (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 02:41 PM

32. a military man who has studied peace

I think he is uniquely qualified to stabilize global conflicts. If he AND Bill Clinton took a whack at that, we might make some human progress. Wow. The thought boggles the mind.

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Response to Turborama (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 02:46 PM

33. part of his wiki bio

Clark's paternal great-grandfather was a Belarusian Jew who immigrated to the United States in response to the Pale of Settlement and anti-Semitic violence from Russian pogroms. Clark's grandfather, Jacob Kanne, graduated from the Chicago-Kent College of Law and served in the U.S. Naval Reserve as an ensign during World War I, although he was never assigned to a combat mission. Kanne, living in Chicago, became involved with ward politics in the 1920s as a prosecutor and served in local offices. He went on to serve as a delegate to the 1932 Democratic National Convention that nominated Franklin D. Roosevelt as the party's presidential candidate (though his name does not appear on the published roll of convention delegates). His mother was Methodist, and was of English ancestry.

Kanne came from the Kohen family line, and Clark's son has characterized Clark's parents' marriage, between his Methodist mother, Veneta (née Updegraff), and his Jewish father, Benjamin Jacob Kanne, as "about as multicultural as you could've gotten in 1944."

Clark was born Wesley Kanne in Chicago on December 23, 1944. His father Benjamin died on December 6, 1948, following which his mother then moved the family to Little Rock, Arkansas. This move was made for a variety of reasons, including escaping the greater cost of living in a large city such as Chicago, the support Veneta's family in Arkansas could provide, and her feeling of being an outsider to the remaining Kanne family as she did not share their religion. Once in Little Rock, Veneta married Viktor Clark, whom she met while working as a secretary for a local bank. Viktor raised Wesley as his son, and officially adopted him on Wesley's 16th birthday. Wesley's name was changed to Wesley Kanne Clark. Viktor Clark's name actually replaced that of Wesley's biological father on his birth certificate, something Wesley would later say that he wished they had not done. Veneta raised Wesley without telling him of his Jewish ancestry to protect him from the anti-Semitic activities of the Ku Klux Klan occurring in the South at the time. Although his mother was Methodist, Clark chose a Baptist church after moving to Little Rock and continued attending it throughout his childhood.

He graduated from Hall High School with a National Merit Scholarship, and helped take their swim team to the state championship, filling in for a sick teammate by swimming two legs of a relay. Clark has often repeated the anecdote that he decided he wanted to go to West Point after meeting a cadet with glasses who told Clark (who wore glasses as well) that one did not need perfect vision to attend West Point as Clark had thought. Clark applied, and was accepted on April 24, 1962.
Military career
Clark's acceptance letter from West Point

Clark's military career began July 2, 1962, when he entered the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. Clark later said an important influence on his view of the military came from Douglas MacArthur's famous "Duty, honor, country" speech given to the class of 1962, only months before Clark entered West Point. A recording of the speech was played for Clark's class when they first arrived.

Clark sat in the front in many of his classes, a position held by the highest performer in class. Clark participated heavily in debate, was consistently within the top 5% of his class as a whole (earning him a "Distinguished Cadet" patch on his uniform), and ultimately graduated as valedictorian of West Point. The valedictorian is first to choose which career field of the Army to serve in, and Clark selected armor. He met Gertrude Kingston, his future wife, at a USO dance for midshipmen and West Point cadets.

Clark eventually applied for a Rhodes Scholarship and learned in December of his senior year at West Point that he had been accepted. He spent his summer at the United States Army Airborne School at Fort Benning, Georgia. Clark worked in the Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE) program during his Rhodes Scholarship, completing his degree at Magdalen College at the University of Oxford in August 1968. While he was at Oxford, a Jewish cousin of Clark's who lived in England telephoned Clark and informed him of his Jewish heritage (after asking his mother if she would allow it). Clark spent three months after graduation at Fort Knox, Kentucky, going through Armor Officer Basic Course, then went on to Ranger School at Fort Benning. He was promoted to captain and was assigned as commander of the A Company of the 4th Battalion, 68th Armor, 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Riley, Kansas.
Vietnam
Clark's Silver Star citation

Clark was assigned a position in the 1st Infantry Division and flew to Vietnam on May 21, 1969 during the U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. He worked as a staff officer, collecting data and helping in operations planning, and was awarded the Bronze Star for his work with the staff. Clark was then given command of A Company, 1st Battalion, 16th Infantry of the 1st Infantry Division in January 1970. In February, only one month into his command, he was shot four times by a Viet Cong soldier with an AK-47. The wounded Clark shouted orders to his men, who counterattacked and defeated the Viet Cong force. Clark had injuries to his right shoulder, right hand, right hip, and right leg, and was sent to Valley Forge Army Hospital in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania to recuperate. He was awarded the Silver Star for his actions during the encounter.

Clark had converted to Catholicism, his wife Gertrude's religion, while in Vietnam. He saw his son, Wesley Clark, Jr., for the first time while at the Valley Forge Hospital. Clark commanded C Company, 6th Battalion, 32nd Armor, 194th Armored Brigade, a company composed entirely of wounded soldiers, at Fort Knox. Clark has said this command is what made him decide to continue his military career past the four-year commitment required by West Point, which would have concluded in 1971. Clark completed his Armor Officer Advanced Course while at Fort Knox, taking additional elective courses and writing an article that won the Armor Association Writing Award. His next posting was to the office of the Army Chief of Staff in Washington, D.C., where he worked in the "Modern Volunteer Army" program from May to July 1971. He then served as an instructor in the Department of Social Sciences at West Point for three years from July 1971 to 1974.

Clark graduated from the Command and General Staff College (CGSC), earning his military Master of Arts degree in military science from the CGSC with a thesis on American policies of gradualism in the Vietnam War. Clark's theory was one of applying force swiftly, which was being advocated by many soldiers at the time, a concept that would eventually become established as U.S. national security policy in the form of the Weinberger Doctrine and its successor, the Powell Doctrine. Clark was promoted to major upon his graduation from the CGSC.
Post-Vietnam

In 1975, Clark was appointed a White House Fellow in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) as a special assistant to its director, James Thomas Lynn. He was one of only 14 appointed out of 2,307 applicants. Lynn also gave Clark a six-week assignment to assist John Marsh, then a counselor to the President. Clark was approached during his fellowship to help push for a memorial to Vietnam veterans. He worked with the movement that ultimately helped lead to the creation of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. Clark served in two commands with the 1st Armored Division based in Germany from August 1976 to February 1978, first as S-3 of the 3rd Battalion 35th Armor and then as S-3 of the entire 3rd Brigade. Clark's brigade commander while in the former position said Clark was "singularly outstanding, notably superb." Regarding his term as brigade commander, one of his battalion commanders called Clark the "most brilliant and gifted officer ever known." He was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal for his work with the division.

The brigade commander had also said that "word of Major Clark's exceptional talent spread", and in one case reached the desk of then Supreme Allied Commander Alexander Haig. Haig personally selected Clark to serve as a special assistant on his staff, a post he held from February 1978 to June 1979. While on staff at SHAPE, Clark wrote policy reports and coordinated two multinational military exercises. As a result of his work on Haig's staff, Clark was promoted to lieutenant colonel and was awarded the Legion of Merit. After his European post, he moved on to Fort Carson, Colorado where he served first as the executive officer of the 1st Brigade, 4th Infantry Division from August 1979 to February 1980, then as the commander of the 1st Battalion, 77th Armor, 4th Infantry Division from February 1980 to July 1982. According to the American journalist David Halberstam, the commander at Fort Carson, then Major General John Hudacheck, had a reputation of disliking West Point graduates and fast-rising officers such as Clark. After two years of not making the list to rise from battalion commander to brigade commander, Clark attended the National War College. After studying there from June 1982 to 1983, Clark graduated and was promoted to full colonel in October 1983.
Portrait of Brigadier General Clark as a commander at Fort Irwin

Following his graduation, Clark worked in Washington, D.C. from July 1983 to 1984 in the offices of the Chief and Deputy Chiefs of Staff of the United States Army, and earned a second Legion of Merit for his work. He then served as the Operations Group commander at the Fort Irwin Military Reservation from August 1984 to June 1986. He was awarded yet another Legion of Merit and a Meritorious Service Medal for his work at Fort Irwin, and was then given a brigade command at Fort Carson in 1986. He commanded the 3rd Brigade, 4th Infantry there from April 1986 to March 1988. Veneta Clark, Wesley's mother, fell ill as he began this command and died on Mother's Day in 1986. After Fort Carson, Clark returned to the Command and General Staff College to direct and further develop the Battle Command Training Program (BCTP) there until October 1989. The BCTP was created to teach senior officers war-fighting skills, according to the commanding general at the time. On November 1, 1989, Clark was promoted to brigadier general.

Clark returned to Fort Irwin and commanded the National Training Center (NTC) from October 1989 to 1991. The Gulf War occurred during Clark's command, and many National Guard divisional round-out brigades trained under his command. Multiple generals commanding American forces in Iraq and Kuwait said Clark's training helped bring about results in the field and that he had successfully begun training a new generation of the military that had moved past Vietnam-era strategy. He was awarded yet another Legion of Merit for his "personal efforts" that were "instrumental in maintaining" the NTC, according to the citation. He served in yet another planning post after this, as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Concepts, Doctrine, and Developments at Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) at Fort Monroe, Virginia. While there, he helped the commanding general of TRADOC prepare the army for war and develop new post-Cold War strategies. One of Clark's major pushes was for technological advancement in the army to establish a digital network for military command that Clark called the "digitization of the battlefield." Clark was promoted to Major General in October 1992 at the end of this command.
Fort Hood and the Waco Siege
See also: Waco siege

Clark's divisional command came with the 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood, Texas. Clark was in command during three separate deployments of forces from Fort Hood for peacekeeping in Kuwait.
Once promoted to a full 4-star general, Clark assumed command of USSOUTHCOM in June 1996.

Some critics, such as left-wing CounterPunch and right-wing FrontPageMag.com, have made allegations that Clark was, to some degree, involved in the Waco siege, where 74 Branch Davidian followers were killed during the final raid, including their leader David Koresh. Groups making allegations of Clark's involvement note that Clark's second-in-command at the time, future General Peter Schoomaker, met with then-Texas governor Ann Richards and then-Attorney General Janet Reno, who were also allegedly involved with the siege. They also note that some military technology and personnel from Fort Hood, including two M1 Abrams tanks, were lent to the FBI for the operation. Some also suggest that, given the sensitive nature of the materials lent for the operation, Clark had some knowledge of and perhaps a hand in planning the Waco siege. Others, such as James Ridgeway, dismiss the allegations as conspiracy theories with "little evidence to substantiate them."

His final Officer Evaluation Report for his command at Fort Hood called him "one of the Army's best and brightest"; Clark was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for his work at Fort Hood and was promoted to lieutenant general at the end of his command in April 1994. Clark's next assignment was an appointment as the Director, Strategic Plans and Policy (J5), on the staff of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), from April 1994 to June 1996.
United States Southern Command

Army regulations set a so-called "ticking clock" upon the promotion to a three-star general, essentially requiring that Clark be promoted to another post within 2 years from his initial promotion or retire. This deadline ended in 1996 and Clark said he was not optimistic about receiving such a promotion because rumors at the time suggested General Dennis Reimer did not want to recommend him for promotion although "no specific reason was given". According to Clark's book, General Robert Scales said that it was likely Clark's reputation of intelligence within the military was responsible for feelings of resentment against him from other generals. Clark was named to the United States Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM) post despite these rumors. Congress approved his promotion to full general in June 1996, and General John M. Shalikashvili signed the order. Clark said he was not the original nominee, but the first officer chosen "hadn't been accepted for some reason."
The Balkans
Bosnia and Herzegovina
See also: War in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Dayton Agreement

Clark began planning work for responses to the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina upon his appointment in 1994 as the Director, Strategic Plans and Policy (J5) on the JCS staff. While collecting information to outline military options for resolving the conflict, Clark met with Bosnian Serb military leaders including Ratko Mladić, who was later accused of war crimes and genocide. Clark was photographed exchanging hats with Mladić, and the photo drew controversy in the United States. A Washington Post story was published claiming Clark had made the visit despite a warning from the U.S. ambassador. Some Clinton administration members privately said the incident was "like cavorting with Hermann Göring." Clark had actually listed the visit in the itinerary he submitted to the ambassador, but says he learned only afterwards that the visit had never been approved. He also said there had been no warning and no one had told him to cancel the visit, although two Congressmen called for Clark's dismissal regardless. Clark later said he regretted the exchange, and the issue was ultimately resolved as President Clinton sent a letter defending Clark to the Congress and the controversy subsided. Clark said it was his "first experience in the rough and tumble of high visibility... and a painful few days." Conservative pundit Robert Novak later referred to the hat exchange in a column during Clark's 2004 presidential campaign, citing it as a "problem" with Clark as a candidate.

Clark was sent to Bosnia by Secretary of Defense William Perry to serve as the military advisor to a diplomatic negotiating team headed by assistant Secretary of State Richard Holbrooke. Holbrooke later described Clark's position as "complicated" because while it presented him with future possibilities it "might put him into career-endangering conflicts with more senior officers." While the team was driving along a mountain road during the first week, the road gave way, and one of the vehicles fell over a cliff carrying passengers including Holbrooke's deputy, Robert Frasure, a deputy assistant Secretary of Defense, Joseph Kruzel, and Air Force Colonel Nelson Drew. Clark and Holbrooke attempted to crawl down the mountain, but were driven back by sniper fire. Once the fire ceased, Clark rappelled down the mountain to collect the bodies of two dead Americans left by Bosnian forces that had taken the remaining wounded to a nearby hospital. After returning to Washington D.C. for funeral services, the negotiations continued and the team eventually reached the Dayton Agreement at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio and later signed it in Paris on December 14, 1995.

Clark returned to the European theater and the Balkans following his USSOUTHCOM position when he was appointed to U.S. European Command in the summer of 1997 by President Clinton. He was, as with SOUTHCOM, not the original nominee for the position. The Army had already selected another general for the post. Because President Clinton and General Shalikashvili believed Clark was the best man for the post, Clark eventually got the nomination. Shalikashvili noted he "had a very strong role in last two jobs." Clark noted during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services committee of the 105th Congress that he believed NATO had shifted since the end of the Cold War from protecting Europe from the Soviet Union to working towards more general stability in the region. Clark also addressed issues related to his then-current command of USSOUTHCOM, such as support for the School of the Americas and his belief that the United States must continue aid to some South American nations to effectively fight the War on Drugs. Clark was quickly confirmed by a voice vote the same day as his confirmation hearing, giving him the command of 109,000 American troops, their 150,000 family members, 50,000 civilians aiding the military, and all American military activities in 89 countries and territories of Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. The position made Clark the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR), which granted him overall command of NATO military forces in Europe.
Kosovo War
See also: Kosovo War and 1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia

The largest event of Clark's tenure as SACEUR was NATO's confrontation with the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in the Kosovo War. The United Nations Security Council introduced Resolution 1199 calling for an end to hostilities in Kosovo, and Richard Holbrooke again tried to negotiate a peace. This process came to an unsuccessful end, however, following the Račak massacre. Then U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright tried to force Yugoslavia into allowing separation of Kosovo with the Rambouillet Agreement, which Yugoslavia refused. Clark was at the Rambouillet talks and tried to convince Yugoslavian president Slobodan Milošević by telling him "there's an activation order. And if they tell me to bomb you, I'm going to bomb you good." Clark later said Milošević launched into an emotional tirade against Albanians and said that they'd been "handled" in the 1940s by killing large numbers of them.
Clark briefs U.S. airmen from the 510th and 555th Fighter Squadrons at Aviano Air Base, Italy in May 1999.

Clark started the bombings codenamed Operation Allied Force on March 24, 1999 on orders to try and enforce U.N. Resolution 1199 following Yugoslavia's refusal of the Rambouillet Agreement. However, critics note that Resolution 1199 was a call for cessation of hostilities and does not authorize any organization to take military action. Secretary of Defense William Cohen felt that Clark had powerful allies at the White House such as President Clinton and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright that were allowing him to circumvent The Pentagon in promoting his strategic ideas, while Clark felt he was not being included enough in discussions with the National Command Authority, leading Clark to describe himself as "just a NATO officer who also reported to the United States". This command conflict came to a ceremonial head when Clark was not initially invited to a summit in Washington, D.C. to commemorate NATO's 50th anniversary, despite being its supreme military commander. Clark eventually secured an invitation to the summit, but was told by Cohen to say nothing about ground troops, and Clark agreed.
U.S. Marines at the United States consulate-general in Hong Kong lower the American flag out of respect for the 1999 Chinese embassy bombing victims.

Clark returned to SHAPE following the summit and briefed the press on the continued bombing operations. A reporter from the Los Angeles Times asked a question about the effect of bombings on Serbian forces, and Clark noted that merely counting the number of opposing troops did not show Milošević's true losses because he was bringing in reinforcements. Many American news organizations capitalized on the remark in a way Clark said "distorted the comment" with headlines such as "NATO Chief Admits Bombs Fail to Stem Serb Operations" in The New York Times. Clark later defended his remarks, saying this was a "complete misunderstanding of my statement and of the facts," and President Clinton agreed Clark's remarks had been misconstrued. Regardless, Clark received a call the following evening from General Hugh Shelton who said he had been told by Secretary Cohen to deliver a piece of guidance verbatim. "Get your fucking face off the TV. No more briefings, period. That's it."

Operation Allied Force experienced another problem when NATO bombed the Chinese embassy in Belgrade on May 7, 1999. The operation had been organized against numerous Serbian targets, including "Target 493, the Federal Procurement and Supply Directorate Headquarters", although the intended target building was actually 300 meters away from the targeted area. The embassy was located at this mistaken target, and three Chinese journalists were killed. Clark's intelligence officer called Clark taking full responsibility and offering to resign, but Clark declined, saying it was not the officer's fault. Secretary Cohen and CIA Director George Tenet took responsibility the next day. Tenet would later explain in testimony before the United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on July 22, 1999 that the targeting system used street addresses, which gave inaccurate positions for air bombings and that the various databases of off-limit targets did not have the up-to-date address for the relatively new embassy location, although there were some that did not accept this explanation.

The bombing campaign was ended on June 10, 1999 on the order of Secretary General of NATO Javier Solana after Milošević complied with conditions the international community had set and Yugoslav forces began to withdraw from Kosovo. United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 was adopted that same day, placing Kosovo under United Nations administration and authorizing a Kosovo peacekeeping force. NATO claimed to have suffered no combat deaths thus making Clark the first US general to win a war without losing a single soldier to combat. NATO did suffer two deaths overall; coming from an Apache helicopter crash that NATO attributed to engine failure. A F-117A was downed near the village of Budjanovici. The bombing was noted for its high degree of accuracy, with estimated 495 civilian deaths and 820 wounded reported to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia as a result of the entire campaign. Yugoslavia estimated that number of civilians killed is higher than 2,000 and that more than 5,000 have been wounded. Human Rights Watch estimates the number of civilian deaths due to NATO bombings as somewhere between 488 and 527.

Milošević's term in office in Yugoslavia was coming to an end, and the elections that came on September 24, 2000 were protested due to allegations of fraud and rigged elections. This all came to a head on October 5 in the so-called Bulldozer Revolution. Milošević resigned on October 7. The Democratic Opposition of Serbia won a majority in parliamentary elections that December. Milošević was taken into custody on April 1, 2001, and transferred to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia on June 28 to face charges of war crimes and genocide. Clark was called to testify in a closed session of Milošević's trial in December 2003. He testified on issues ranging from the Srebrenica massacre to conversations Clark had had with Milošević over his career. Some anti-war activist groups also label Clark and Bill Clinton (along with several others) as war criminals for NATO's entire bombing campaign, saying the entire operation was in violation of the NATO charter.
Pristina International Airport incident

One of Clark's most debated decisions during his SACEUR command was his attempted operation to attack Russian troops at Pristina International Airport immediately after the end of the Kosovo War. A joint NATO-Russia peacekeeping operation was supposed to police Kosovo. Russia wanted their peacekeeping force to operate independent of NATO, but NATO refused. British forces were supposed to occupy Pristina International Airport, but a contingent of Russian troops arrived before they did and took control of the airport. Clark called then-Secretary General of NATO Javier Solana, and was told "you have transfer of authority" in the area. General Clark then issued an order for the NATO troops to attack and "overpower" the armed Russian troops, but Captain Blount leading the British troops questioned this order, and was supported in this decision by the British commander of the Kosovo Force, General Mike Jackson, who refused to sanction the attack, reportedly saying "I'm not going to start the Third World War for you." Jackson has said he refused to take action because he did not believe it was worth the risk of a military confrontation with the Russians, instead insisting that troops encircle the airfield. After two days of standoff and negotiations, NATO agreed to an independent Russian peacekeeping force, and Russia relinquished control of the airport. The refusal was criticized by some senior U.S. military personnel, with American general Hugh Shelton calling Jackson's refusal "troubling," and hearings in the United States Senate suggested it may amount to insubordination, with Senator John Warner suggesting holding hearings regarding whether the refusal was legal and potentially changing those rules if it was. British Chief of the Defence Staff Charles Guthrie agreed with Jackson and told Clark this on the day Jackson refused the order.
Retirement

Clark received another call from General Shelton in July 1999 in which he was told that Secretary Cohen wanted Clark to leave his command in April 2000. Clark was surprised by this, as he saw SACEURs as being expected to serve at least 3 years and often asked to stay on for a 4th, while this date would give him less than 3 years of service at the post. Clark was told that this was necessary because General Joseph Ralston was leaving his post as the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and would need another 4-star command within 60 days or he would be forced to retire. Ralston was not going to be appointed Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff due to an extramarital affair in his past, and the SACEUR position was said to be the last potential post for him. Clark said this explanation "didn't wash" because he believed the legalities could have been sorted out to let him serve a full 3 years. Clinton signed on to Ralston's reassignment, although David Halberstam wrote that both he and Madeleine Albright were angered at Clark's treatment. Clark spent the remainder of his time as SACEUR overseeing peacekeeper forces and, without a new command to take, was forced into retirement from the military on May 2, 2000.

Rumors persisted that Clark was forced out due to his contentious relationship with some in Washington D.C.; however, he has dismissed such rumors, calling it a "routine personnel action," and the Department of Defense said it was merely a "general rotation of American senior ranks." However, a NATO ambassador told the International Herald Tribune that Clark's dismissal seemed to be a "political thing from the United States." General Hugh Shelton would say of Clark during his 2004 campaign that "the reason he came out of Europe early had to do with integrity and character issues, things that are very near and dear to my heart. I'm not going to say whether I'm a Republican or a Democrat. I'll just say Wes won't get my vote." Shelton never elaborated further on what these issues were.
Civilian career

Clark set himself three initial goals in civilian life—to earn $40 million in the business world to let him practice philanthropy, to become an adjunct professor, and to become a professional golfer. Clark began a public speaking tour in the summer of 2000 and approached several former government officials for advice on work after life in government, including House Speaker Newt Gingrich, White House Chief of Staff Mack McLarty, and Richard Holbrooke. Clark took McLarty's advice to move back to Little Rock, Arkansas, and took a position with the Stephens Group, an investment firm headquartered there. He took several other board positions at defense-related firms, and in March 2003 he amicably left the Stephens Group to found Wesley K. Clark & Associates. Clark began writing, publishing two books—Waging Modern War and Winning Modern Wars—along with writing the forewords for a series of military biographies, as well as a series of editorials. He had amassed only about $3.1 million towards his $40 million goal by 2003, but began considering running for public office instead of pursuing his business career.

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Response to Turborama (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 02:56 PM

37. I'd need an answer to this question:

Why were NATO forces under his command ordered to attack Russian troops at the Pristina airport at the end of the campaign against Serbia?

The British singer James Blunt was in the British contingent outside that airport and says he refused the order. If he hadn't, lord knows what kind of disaster would have occurred.

http://www.antiwar.com/orig/jatras12.html

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Response to DeltaLitProf (Reply #37)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 03:01 PM

39. No, it was Gen. Mike Jackson...

In any case, this canard was debunked a gazillion times in 2004 (I was here under another name back then - left for many years - and then came back).

However, the link I used to provide to debunk this is long since gone (or I can't find it). Maybe Tom or Stinky still has it..

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Response to Turborama (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 02:59 PM

38. I chose Sec. of State because I always thought it should have gone to him.



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Response to Fawke Em (Reply #38)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 04:27 PM

46. Me, too.

He is a friend of Hillary, so maybe she might have some sway in the matter of him replacing her.

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Response to Turborama (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 03:04 PM

41. Poet Laureate

 

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #41)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 03:36 PM

44. .

"I'm pro-choice, pro-affirmative action, pro-environment and pro-labor. I was either going to be the loneliest Republican in America or I was going to be a happy Democrat."

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Response to Turborama (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 03:05 PM

42. After that 'Stars earn stripes' crap - I say nothing

I lost alot of respect with him hosting that show.

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Response to Turborama (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 04:07 PM

45. He supported Hillary in primary, so I always thought he was thrown under the bus, and backed over.

But he went on to campaign for Obama. When Hillary went back to her Senate office after the campaign, the very first person she saw was Gen. Clark; I always thought she may have offered him a job at the state dept., and maybe he didn't want it. I sort of agree with #18 above. He is very liberal, which is why I supported him for his own run for pres., the ideal combination of military smarts and experience, and liberal domestic philosophy. He may not want a role in government now.

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Response to Turborama (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 04:35 PM

47. State would be perfect.

 

He's an incredible diplomat and is very well liked and respected around the world. Defense or NSA would also fit him perfectly.

He hasn't been offered a spot, in my opinion, because he was super loyal to the Clintons and was dismissive of Obama's foreign policy abilities in 2008. They don't forgive or forget very easily in Chicago.

It's time to grow up and get over that crap. He's the best man for several positions.

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Response to MrSlayer (Reply #47)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 09:44 PM

50. That would explain it

But PO employed Hillary after that bitter fight and he's invited Rmoney to lunch after an even more bitter fight, so maybe there's that but something else as well...?

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Response to Turborama (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 09:49 PM

51. He would be FANTASTIC at either defense or state but it will never happen.

Remember that the two had a falling out in 2008. Dean will never have a post in this administration either. Both far too liberal for Obama.

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Response to Turborama (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 09:50 PM

52. There isn't any Secretary of National Security,

but I would like to see Wesley Clark in charge of National Security.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #52)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 10:18 PM

55. "Secretary of Homeland Security" reminds me too much of the * years, so I changed it

I hereby strongly suggest President Obama agrees with my name change as a sign he's "healing" that particular vestige of *'s terrible pResidency.

Now I come to think of it, maybe if DUer Rep. Grayson reads this he could take it up with him at some point on my behalf! LoL

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Response to Turborama (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 09:54 PM

53. He has been my choice for Secretary of State since before Obama won in 2008.

He continues to be my choice.

I have no idea why Obama hasn't used him in any capacity whatsoever.

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Response to Turborama (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 10:18 PM

54. It was during Clark's campaign

that I really started learning about Susan Rice, since she was his foreign policy advisor (at least one of them), and gave some brilliant speeches and press conferences. I think it would be a nice match to have Susan as Sec of State and Clark for Sec of Defense.

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Response to Turborama (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 10:43 PM

56. Lotus embraces dragon

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Response to Turborama (Reply #57)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 01:45 AM

58. I see you are unfamiliar with the Kama Sutra

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Response to Turborama (Original post)


Response to Edith Komes (Reply #59)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 10:52 AM

60. Clark was not in Germany in 1975.

He wasn't in Germany until August of 1976. So since the first sentence is wrong... well, let's just say this is Kookery

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