Colin Powell: Remarks to the United Nations Security Council

(2003)

Colin Powell spent much of his adult life under fire, beginning with tours of duty in Vietnam and continuing in the political arena when he arrived in Washington, D.C., to serve Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush. Particularly during the two Bush presidencies, Powell was at the center of geopolitical events that would, for better or worse, reshape the Middle East and redefine American foreign policy in the region. The mission assigned to him was to lead wars—as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under the elder Bush during the Gulf War and then as secretary of state under the younger Bush during the invasion of Iraq.

Powell, however, was no military hawk. His experience in Vietnam had made him something of a reluctant warrior, and consequently he found himself at odds with administration officials about the need for war and, after the conflicts were launched, how to prosecute them. Some of his most significant documents reflect this...

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Colin Powell (U.S. Department of State)

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