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  Clark, Wesley
<-  2004-01-01  
NameWesley Clark
Little Rock, Arkansas , United States
Website [Link]
Born December 23, 1944 (76 years)
Last ModifedRob Ritchie
Dec 23, 2018 09:48pm
Tags Caucasian - Dutch - Irish - Jewish - Russian - Scottish - Married - Army - Special Forces - Catholic - Christian - Straight -
InfoGeneral Wesley Clark

Wesley Clark was born on December 23rd, 1944 in Chicago. His father Benjamin Kanne, a Russian-Jewish first generation American, lawyer and Democratic Party politician, died when Wesley was five years old. His mother, Veneta Updegraff Kanne Clark, a Southern Baptist of Irish, Scottish, and Dutch descent originally from Arkansas, moved the family back to Little Rock where she remarried a former banker, Victor Clark. Wesley was raised as a Baptist (he converted to Catholicism during Vietnam), and attended the local public schools. Influential in his youth was Jimmy Miller, a WW II veteran who coached swimming at the Boys Club. Wesley Clark became married to the former Gertrude Kingston of Brooklyn, New York, during Vietnam, and converted to Catholicism.

Clark is a 1966 graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, where he graduated first in his class. After a brief stint in New York City working in the national poverty program, Clark was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University from August of 1966 until 1968, studying Philosophy, Politics and Economics.

After receiving a master's degree, Clark left Oxford to fight in Vietnam. The Vietnam War, a watershed experience for most American males coming of age in the 1960s, was the greatest influence of his youth. As an infantryman in command of a mechanized infantry company, Wes Clark saw combat in Vietnam and was shot four times (in the leg, hip, hand, and shoulder) in action, while fighting against the Viet Cong. During his Vietnam service, Clark received the Purple Heart and a Silver Star for his heroism in leading his company out of harm's way after being grievously wounded. He spent many months recovering from his injuries in a stateside hospital, where he had to teach himself how to walk again in order to keep from being discharged from the army.

After graduating from the National War College, Command and General Staff College, Armor Officer Advanced and Basic Courses, and (Special Operations) Ranger and Airborne schools, Clark was a White House Fellow in 1975-1976 in the Ford Administration, serving as a Special Assistant to the Director of the Office of Management and Budget. He has also served as an instructor and later Assistant Professor of Social Science at the United States Military Academy. Including his service in Vietnam, Wesley Clark has served the United States throughout the last three decades. Among his military decorations are the Defense Distinguished Service Medal (three awards), Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star, Legion of Merit (four awards), Bronze Star Medal (two awards), Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal (two awards), and the Army Commendation Medal (two awards).

In April of 1994 until June of 1996, Clark became the J5, Director of the Pentagon's Strategic Plans and Policy operation, where Clark responsible for world-wide politico-military affairs and U.S. military strategic planning. He also at this time led the military negotiations for the Bosnian Peace Accords at Dayton. From June 1996 until July 1997, General Clark served as Commander-in-Chief, United States Southern Command, Panama, where he commanded all U.S. forces and was responsible for the direction of most U.S. military activities and interests in Latin America and the Caribbean. From July 1997, until his retirement in June of 2000, General Clark was the Supreme Allied Commander of NATO, serving then also as the Commander-in-Chief for the United States European Command. He presided over the American/NATO force that successfully dislodged Slobodan Milosevic from Kosovo.

A lifelong Independent until September of 2003, Clark maintained non partisanship during that time, leaning Republican from an early age until 1990, when he began to lean Democratic (while remaining Independent). Clark voted for President Bill Clinton in 1992 and 1996. In 2000, Clark voted with the Democratic Party in Arkansas, casting his ballot for Vice President Al Gore. After his retirement from the military, Clark was heavily lobbied by both parties in Arkansas, attending fundraisers and events for both Democrats and Republicans and offering praise for certain members of each party as he was being courted to run for office. He is the author of Waging Modern War: Bosnia, Kosovo and the Future of Combat (2001, 2002), detailing diplomacy backed by force that was used to press back the Yugoslav troops from attacking the Albanians in the Kosovo province. Since June of 2000, Clark has worked for Little Rock-based Stephens Group Inc. as a corporate consultant to help develop emerging-technology companies. General Clark also serves as distinguished senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a director of the Atlantic Council and a board member of the International Crisis Group. He is set to release his new book, Winning Modern War: Iraq, Afghanistan, and the American Empire in late 2003.

A native of Little Rock, Ark., Wesley Clark and his wife Gertrude now reside in their hometown again. Their son, Wesley Jr., also served in the military, and is a screenwriter in Los Angeles. Currently a commentator and military analyst for CNN, Clark likes to swim every morning wherever his busy travel schedulers can locate a pool. Plain, freshly made popcorn is one of his preferred snacks; his favorite artists include Buddy Holly and, he fondly recalls Folk music from Peter, Paul & Mary, Trini Lopez, and Bob Dylan.

He announced his intention to seek the Democratic Presidential nomination in September of 2003.

After a victory in the Oklahoma primary, Clark drew a disappointing 3rd place in both Virginia and Tennessee, ending his campaign on February 11th, 2004. In 2004 Clark established WesPAC, his political action committee to advocate for domestic and international issues.

"I grew up in an armed forces that treated everyone as a valued member of the team. Everyone got healthcare, and the army cared about the education of everyone's family members. It wasn't the attitude that you find in some places, where people are fending for themselves and the safety net doesn't work."

"I'm going to be wondering whether he would have done it," Clark said in an interview late last week. "I'm going to wonder whether George Bush, had he been president at the time, would have wanted to stop the great wrong that was occurring." Clark was referring, of course, to the "ethnic cleansing" that the Serbians inflicted on the Muslims of Kosovo." [Link]

- July 2001

"In The United States, for example, the Republican Party developed several mutually inconsistent critiques: first, that there should be no U.S. involvement [In The Balkans]; then, if there was, that the air campaign wouldn't work and that a ground operation would be required"

-Waging Modern War, page 428, early 2001

"Clark had several chats last year with Arkansas Democratic Party Chairman Ron Oliver about the possibility of taking on Huckabee for the governorship. "It was 2001 when his name started popping up," says Michael Cook, the party's executive director in Arkansas. "He and Ron had a series of discussions." Clark took a pass, obviously; but equally obviously, he had caught the bug." [Link]

"It was only days after the 11 September terrorist attacks when an Arkansas Republican leader phoned the General and asked him to join them. With a war brewing, the Democrats, holed by their old 'national security' weakness, would be finished for a generation, the Republican insisted. Clark (who has not always been the committed Democrat he must now appear) refused." [Link]




Title Purchase Contributor
Winning Modern Wars: Iraq, Terrorism, and the American Empire  Purchase ArmyDem 
Waging Modern War: Bosnia, Kosovo, and the Future of Combat  Purchase ArmyDem 

Start Date End Date Type Title Contributor

Date Category Headline Article Contributor
Jan 18, 2010 04:00pm Blog Entry Wes Clark for Congress?  Article DFWDem 
Jun 29, 2008 10:00pm Scandal Clark hits McCain's military credentials  Article karin1492 
Feb 02, 2007 12:00pm News General Salutes 'Clinton-Clark' Ticket  Article ArmyDem 
Nov 29, 2006 03:00pm Strategy [Wesley] Clark Wants to Avoid Late Campaign Start  Article Patrick 
Sep 14, 2006 04:00pm News Clark helps Dems to hang tough on national security  Article ArmyDem 
Aug 10, 2006 05:00pm Op-Ed by Candidate A Judgment on Iraq  Article RP 

Importance? 9.00000 Average

Wife Gertrude "Gert" Kingston Clark 00, 1967- 00, 2013

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