By Justin Deibler
Associate News Editor

Colin Powell, one of the most influential figures in American politics for the past couple decades, passed away on Monday from complications of Covid-19 at the age of 84. He had been battling cancer.  

Mr. Powell broke down many racial barriers in the national government. He was the first African American Secretary of State, Chairman of the Joint of Staffs, and the 16th national Security Advisor.  

His path to national prominence has been an inspiration to many minorities. He was born in the Bronx to immigrant parents. He started his military career in the army, which was recently segregated at the time of his enlistment.

His military career is where he found his earliest success in life. He took two tours in the Vietnam War. After various top-ranking jobs in the army, he would become National Security Advisor to President Reagan.  

During his time as national security advisor he helped in negotiations of various arms treaties with the Soviet Union. He also helped in negotiations with Soviet Premier Mikhail Gobrachev, which helped usher in a new era of cooperation between the two countries. 

Under the first Bush Administration he would serve as the Joint Chief of Staff. During this time, he and Defense Secretary Dick Cheney convinced President Bush of a 25% reduction of the Military.  

Powell was also a key figure in the invasion of Panama to overthrow their leader, Manuel Noriega.  

A key architect in the Gulf War, he urged that the president keep all remaining options open. When Suddam Hussein refused to back out of Kuwait, he fully supported the invasion.  

During his military career, he employed tactics that would later become known as the Powell Doctrine. Using overwhelming force to quickly defeat the enemy, but only after declaring specific political objectives, and gaining public support first. This was a complete transformation of the policies of containment used by the United States during the Cold War.  

He is dubbed as being largely responsible for weighting morale in the military after the disastrous Vietnam war. 

When he ended his military career in 1993, Powell was one of the most prominent figures in all of America.  

He would be pursued by both the Democrat and Republican parties for a potential run to the White House. In 1995 he officially decided the job was not for him, however people still would ask for him to do so.  

In the early 2000’s, Powell would serve for George W. Bush as Secretary of State. His most notable actions during this time were those involved in the Iraq War. Privately, he discouraged the invasion, but once the mind of President Bush was made up, Powell gave an hour-long speech to declare the need of an invasion to the U.N. security council. He would go on to regret this in his life. 

He also would bring lots of new technology to the state department. He issued orders to bring new computers and high-speed internet to staff overseas.  

Colin Powell will go down as one of the most influential American public figures of the last fifty years.