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Last Updated: Thursday, 17 May 2007, 22:49 GMT 23:49 UK
Profile: Paul Wolfowitz

Paul Wolfowitz's resignation from the World Bank closes the latest act in a long and increasingly controversial career.

Paul Wolfowitz
Paul Wolfowitz has had an eventful political life
He was forced to step down after facing an outcry over a pay and promotion deals given to his partner - who also works for the World Bank.

But in his previous post Mr Wolfowitz aroused extreme reactions as well. As US Deputy Secretary of Defence in the administration of President George W Bush, he was widely seen as one of the most hawkish of the so-called neo-conservatives in the Republican Party.

A forceful advocate of US military action, he was one of the main architects of the invasion in Iraq in 2003.

The controversy that led to his resignation centred on his authorisation of a hefty pay rise and promotion for his partner, World Bank employee Shaha Riza.

Mr Wolfowitz initially said the Bank's executive board had agreed on Ms Riza's new pay deal. But fellow directors denied this was the case and he was forced to apologise for his handling of the matter.

Anti-corruption drive

The scandal came at a time when Mr Wolfowitz had already been facing criticism over an anti-corruption drive that has led to the suspension of aid to some countries.

2007: Resigns as World Bank head
2005: Becomes head of World Bank
2001-05: Deputy Secretary of Defence
1989-93: Under-secretary for defence policy
1986-89: US ambassador to Indonesia
1983-86: Assistant secretary for East Asian and Pacific affairs
1981-82: Head of state department policy planning staff

Taking up the top job at the World Bank in 2005, he vowed to tackle government corruption in certain countries receiving aid by bypassing their administrations.

Yet some critics argued that his plans kept aid from getting to some places where it is needed.

His opponents also argued that the charges of nepotism haunting Mr Wolfowitz gave an air of hypocrisy to his anti-corruption drive.

And Mr Wolfowitz faced further criticism over what some World Bank staff said was an excessively blunt managerial style.


As a career politician, Mr Wolfowitz was well known for taking an uncompromising stance.

While US Deputy Secretary of Defence in the wake of the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, Mr Wolfowitz vowed not only that the US would pursue terrorists, but that it would "end" states sponsoring or harbouring militants.

He was also unyielding in his opposition to the US military buying supplies from overseas nations deemed unfriendly to America.

In 2001 he ordered the recall and destruction of 600,000 controversial Chinese-made berets intended for use by troops.

In an official memorandum, Mr Wolfowitz stated: "The Army Chief of Staff has determined that US troops shall not wear berets made in China or berets made with Chinese content."

The affair came at a time of tense Sino-American relations in the aftermath of the mid-air collision of a US spy-plane and a Chinese fighter jet.

Mr Wolfowitz also served in the 1989-1993 administration of the current president's father, George Bush senior, where he was under-secretary for defence policy under then defence secretary and now Vice-President Dick Cheney.

During those years, he was at the centre of a US administration faced with the challenge of reshaping its military strategy at the end of the Cold War.

His defence policy team also played a key role in co-ordinating and reviewing US strategy in the Gulf War.

And he was involved in creating the US regional defence strategy and two presidential initiatives which resulted in huge reductions in the US and Russian nuclear arsenals.

Indonesian ambassador

Mr Wolfowitz's career blossomed during the Reagan administration.

He became assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs in 1983.

Three years later, he was appointed US ambassador to Indonesia - the country with the fourth largest population in the world and the largest Muslim population.

Mr Wolfowitz had earlier spent two years in charge of the Department of State's policy planning staff beginning in 1981.

Prior to that, from 1977 to 1980, he was deputy assistant secretary of defence for regional programmes, where he helped set up what would later became the US military central command.

He first entered government in 1966, spending a year as a management intern at the Bureau of the Budget.

Mr Wolfowitz has also led a parallel career in teaching, spending three years at Yale from 1970-73 and later at the Johns Hopkins University, where he was dean and professor of International Relations during the Clinton administration.

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