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Wednesday, March 24, 1999 Published at 19:29 GMT

Profile: Nato's military commander

General Wesley Clark: Experienced Bosnia negotiator

The American at the helm of the Nato attack is a contemporary of US President Bill Clinton - they both grew up in Little Rock in Arkansas and went on to become Rhodes scholars at Oxford University.

Kosovo strikes
Nato military commander Wesley Clark is at home with Yugoslav issues, having handled the military side of the Dayton negotiations that ended the three-year war in Bosnia in 1995.

Unlike his predecessors in Nato's top job, he ordered the vigorous pursuit of suspected Bosnian war criminals. Several have been arrested by Nato snatch squads.

The 53-year-old Vietnam war veteran became the Supreme Allied Commander Europe in July 1997 and is also the commander of US forces in Europe. He has a reputation as a no-nonsense, tough-as-nails career soldier. Exceptional student

He graduated first in his class from the US Military Academy at West Point and then gained a master's degree in philosophy, politics and economics at Oxford. He is married with one son.

In his military career he won numerous medals and citations including the Purple Heart. Before arriving at Nato headquarters in Belgium he was commander-in-chief of the US Southern Command based in Panama.

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