Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who was a central figure in the Clinton administration, died at age 84, according to her family in a statement released Wednesday.
“We are heartbroken to announce that Dr. Madeleine K. Albright, the 64th U.S. Secretary of State … passed away earlier today,” her family said. “The cause was cancer. She was surrounded by family and friends.”
Albright, who was secretary of state between 1997 and 2001 under then-President Bill Clinton, was a major champion of NATO’s expansion eastward into former Soviet countries as well as the NATO campaign in 1999 to halt ethnic cleansing in Kosovo. She also served as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations from 1993 to 1997.
“We stand tall and we see further than other countries into the future, and we see the danger here to all of us,” she told NBC News in a 1998 interview. “I know that the American men and women in uniform are always prepared to sacrifice for freedom, democracy, and the American way of life.”
A day before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, Albright wrote that Moscow would be making a “historic error” by escalating the conflict, warning that the invasion would trigger “massive sanctions.”
“What is sure to be a bloody and catastrophic war will drain Russian resources and cost Russian lives—while creating an urgent incentive for Europe to slash its dangerous reliance on Russian energy … That has already begun with Germany’s move to halt certification of the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline,” she wrote for the New York Times.
And “such an act of aggression would almost certainly drive NATO to significantly reinforce its eastern flank and to consider permanently stationing forces in the Baltic States, Poland, and Romania,” Albright continued.
In June 2018, Albright, however, conceded that the Chinese regime is a larger threat to the United States than Russia.
“The new [National] Defense Strategy of the United States has now said that Russia and China are our major adversaries. I think that is a gift to [Russian President Vladimir Putin], because they are not the equivalent of China,” said Albright, “China is really a power that is evolving in a big way, penetrating various places. The Russians are not there.”
Early in the Clinton administration, she unsuccessfully advocated for a quicker, stronger response in Bosnia. But she backed a United Nations war crimes tribunal that eventually put the architects of that war, including Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic and Bosnian Serb leaders, in jail, James O’Brien, a senior adviser to Albright during the Bosnian war, told Reuters.
During efforts to press North Korea to end its nuclear weapons program, which were eventually unsuccessful, Albright traveled to Pyongyang in 2000 to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, becoming the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit the secretive communist-run country.
Source: The Poch Times