Colin Powell – from black general to controversial US secretary of state

Colin Powell - from black general to controversial US secretary of state 1
Colin Powell - from black general to controversial US secretary of state 1

The family of former US Secretary of State Colin Powell said he died at the age of 84 at Walter Reed National Medical Center in Washington DC today due to complications from Covid-19.

Colin Powell at an event in New York state, USA, 2013. Photo: Reuters.

He is the first and youngest black chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in US military history, and is also one of the most controversial people as US Secretary of State under former president George W.

Military career

Colin Luther Powell was born on April 5, 1937 in Harlem, New York, into a family of Jamaican immigrants.

`I like the structure and discipline of the military. I feel outstanding when wearing a military uniform, which is a feeling that I don’t get in other uniforms,` Powell said in the early 2000s.

Powell joined the US Army after graduating from college in 1958, deployed twice to Vietnam in 1962-1963 and 1968 as a consultant, and was injured twice while on duty.

Powell was promoted to the rank of major general in 1979, appointed National Security Advisor under President Ronald Reagan and became Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff in 1989, under the administration of President George W.

Colin Powell - from black general to controversial US secretary of state

Colin Powell after taking office as Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Powell’s term witnessed a series of America’s most notable military campaigns of the late 20th century, including the 1989 attack on Panama to overthrow General Manuel Noriega, the 1991 Gulf War and the intervention campaign.

Powell was initially reluctant to deploy American troops when Iraq attacked Kuwait in 1990, but quickly became one of the Bush administration’s most trusted spokesmen when the conflict broke out.

US Secretary of State in a period of turmoil

After ending his military career, Powell was considered one of the potential candidates for the race to the White House in 1996. However, he refused to run for the election with the reason `not interested`.

Powell was the first cabinet member nominated by Bush after his victory.

Bush and Powell shared a common unwillingness to deploy US military power globally, but this quickly changed after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

However, the biggest highlight is the leading role in the Bush administration’s effort to find a reason to attack Iraq, despite the concerns of many allies and international opposition.

On February 5, 2003, Powell spoke before the United Nations Security Council and showed a vial containing white powder, which US intelligence confirmed was evidence that Iraq deceived international inspectors and covered up the matter.

Colin Powell - from black general to controversial US secretary of state

Colin Powell at the Security Council meeting on February 5, 2003.

Just 6 weeks later, the US began its military campaign against Iraq.

Powell left the US State Department in early 2005 after submitting his resignation, admitting that his speech at the Security Council was `a stain that will forever be attached to me`.

`I feel sorry because it was wrong information, but I will always be remembered as the person who brought the incident to the international community. I changed public opinion, which is not right.`

In his 2012 memoir, Powell continued to refer to the speech and said the words in the book would be the last time he publicly mentioned it.

`I’m angry with myself for not detecting the problem. My instincts failed. It wasn’t the first time, but it was the most serious mistake and had the widest impact. This event certainly

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