Melvin R. Laird

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Melvin Robert (Bom) Laird (born September 1, 1922) served as President Richard Nixon's Secretary of Defense (1969-1973) and later Counselor to the President for Domestic Affairs (1973–74). After military service in the United States Navy during World War II, he served in the Wisconsin State Senate (1946–52) and then in the U.S. House of Representatives (1953–69).

Under Secretary Laird the Pentagon experienced budget cuts and American forces withdrew from Vietnam. He coined the phrase "Vietnamization," meaning that fighting in Vietnam should be left up to the South Vietnamese and not the United States.