Melvin Laird

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20th-century American politician

Why Is Melvin Laird Influential?

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According to Wikipedia, Melvin Robert Laird Jr. was an American politician, writer and statesman. He was a U.S. congressman from Wisconsin from 1953 to 1969 before serving as Secretary of Defense from 1969 to 1973 under President Richard Nixon. Laird was instrumental in forming the administration's policy of withdrawing U.S. soldiers from the Vietnam War; he coined the expression "Vietnamization," referring to the process of transferring more responsibility for combat to the South Vietnamese forces. First elected in 1952, Laird was the last living Representative elected to the 83rd Congress at the time of his death.

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