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Colin Powell, General of the U.S. Army, was the 17th chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the United States. His time in office was, for the most part, defined by the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. He died this morning at 89.
Powell's last military assignment, from October 1989 to September 1993, was as Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, the highest military position in the United States Department of Defense. During this time, he oversaw 28 crises, including the invasion of Panama in 1989 and Operation Desert Storm in the Persian Gulf War against Iraq in 1990–1991. He formulated the Powell Doctrine, which limits American military action unless it satisfies criteria regarding American national security interests, overwhelming force, and widespread public support.
In 1995, Powell wrote his autobiography, My American Journey, and then in retirement another book, It Worked for Me, Lessons in Life and Leadership (2012). He pursued a career as a public speaker, addressing audiences across the country and abroad. Before his appointment as secretary of state, he chaired America's Promise. In the 2016 United States presidential election, Powell, who was not a candidate, received three electoral votes from Washington for the office of President of the United States. (Source: en.wikipedia.org)
Powell wrote: "In direct refutation of this portrayal is the fact that relations between American soldiers and the Vietnamese people are excellent." Later, Powell's assessment would be described as whitewashing the news of the massacre, and questions would continue to remain undisclosed to the public. (Source: en.wikipedia.org)
In his autobiography, My American Journey, Powell named several officers he served under who inspired and mentored him. As a lieutenant colonel serving in South Korea, Powell was very close to General Henry "Gunfighter" Emerson. Powell said he regarded Emerson as one of the most caring officers he ever met. Emerson insisted his troops train at night to fight a possible North Korean attack, and made them repeatedly watch the television film Brian's Song to promote racial harmony. Powell always professed that what set Emerson apart was his great love of his soldiers and concern for their welfare. After a race riot occurred, in which African-American soldiers almost killed a white officer, Powell was charged by Emerson to crack down on black militants; Powell's efforts led to the discharge of one soldier, and other efforts to reduce racial tensions. (Source: en.wikipedia.org)