posted on Mar, 28 2006 @ 10:36 AM
Former Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger has died at the age of 88. Weinberger served as the senior military advisor and administrator through two
terms of the Reagan administration.
Caspar Weinberger, defense secretary under the Reagan administration, has died, NBC news has learned.
Weinberger was born in San Francisco in 1917. He received a law degree at Harvard and was on General Douglas McArthur's intelligence staff in World
War II. Following the war, he returned to California and worked as a law clerk for a federal judge, then at a San Francisco firm. In the 1950s, he was
elected to the California State Assembly. He remained active in California politics through the '60s.
In 1970, President Nixon named him as chairman of the Federal Trade Commission. He was named deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget in
1971, where his cost-cutting policies earned him the nickname "Cap the Knife." In 1973, he became secretary of health, education and welfare. He
returned to the private sector in 1975.
When Ronald Reagan became president in 1981, Weinberger was named secretary of defense.
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Although not widely experienced in defense matters, Weinberger had a reputation in Washington as an able administrator; his powers as a cost cutter
earned him the sobriquet "Cap the Knife." He shared the president's conviction that the Soviet Union posed a serious threat to the United States,
and that the defense establishment needed to be modernized and strengthened. Belying his nickname, at the Pentagon Weinberger became a vigorous
advocate of Reagan's plan to increase the DoD budget. Readiness, sustainability, and modernization became the watchwords of the defense program.
As Secretary of Defense, he oversaw the massive rebuilding of US military strength that contributed to the tripling of the national debt. Weinberger
pushed for dramatic increases in the United States' nuclear weapons arsenal, and was a strong advocate of the controversial Strategic Defense
Initiative, popularly known as Star Wars, which proposed a space-based missile defense shield.
Secretary Weinberger is well known for his advocacy of Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative (aka Star Wars) and his role in the Iran-Contra
Condolences to his friends & family.
[edit on 3/28/2006 by ChemicalLaser]