Melvin Laird

Melvin Robert “Bom” Laird (1 September 1922 to 16 November 2016) was an American politician, writer and statesman. He was a US 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 “Vietnamisation,” referring to the process of transferring more responsibility for combat to the South Vietnamese forces.