Caspar Weinberger, principal Secretary of Defense for Ronald Reagan, died today at 88. Weinberger was the courtly, eloquent and implacable enemy of the Soviet threat.
From NRO's Jay Nordlinger:
It was when Reagan called again — this time after being elected president-that Weinberger had his real rendezvous with destiny: serving as secretary of defense at a time when the military desperately needed rebuilding; only six years after the helicopters had lifted off from the embassy roof in Saigon; when the Soviet Union was enjoying unprecedented advantage. Weinberger may be seen as the very embodiment of Peace Through Strength, a meaningful slogan for once. He saw things with rare moral clarity, and talked that way, and acted that way. He and Reagan were intent on rollback — musty notion — not detente.
Before his long service to Reagan, Weinberger attended Harvard where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa. After Harvard Law School he enlisted in the Army and eventually served on General Douglas MacArthur's intelligence staff. Weinberger served in the California Assembly, as chairman of the Federal Trade Commission, head of the Office of Management & Budget (earning him the sobriquet Cap the Knife) and Secretary of Health Education and Welfare.
In Chicago in 1981 Weinberger said, (courtesy NYTimes)
"If we value our freedom, we must be able to defend ourselves in wars of any size and shape and in any region where we have vital interests."