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Former U.S. Joint Chiefs Chairman Shalikashvili Dead At 75


The late, retired U.S. Army General, John Shalikashvili

The late, retired U.S. Army General, John Shalikashvili

Retired U.S. Army General John Shalikashvili, who served as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under President Bill Clinton, has died at the age of 75.

Shalikashvili is reported to have passed away on July 23 from complications from a stroke in the northwestern U.S. state of Washington, where he spent his later years.

Shalikashvili, who was born in Poland to a Polish mother and Georgian father, was the first foreign-born American to serve as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the highest-ranking officer position in the U.S. military.

Shalikashvili served in the post from 1993 to 1997, advising President Clinton about NATO air strikes on Bosnian Serb military targets in 1995 and other U.S. military deployments of the time.

In a statement, President Barack Obama said Shalikashvili also helped to forge closer U.S. defense ties with Russia and other former Soviet states.

Obama praised Shalikashvili as a "genuine soldier-statesman whose extraordinary life represented the promise of America and the limitless possibilities open to those who choose to serve" the country.

compiled from agency reports

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