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BBC News Front page | World | Europe | Kosovo | Yugoslavia after Milosevic | Killing of Kosovo
Name:
Lt Gen Sir Mike Jackson

Occupation:
Former K-For commander


Lieutenant-General Sir Michael Jackson was dubbed "Macho Jacko" by some UK newspapers and earned the nickname of "The Prince of Darkness" among troops he led. Sir Michael - who prefers to be known as Mike - began his army career learning Russian in the Intelligence Corps and is seen as an intelligent and able man who could have succeeded equally well in a civilian - even political - career. As commander of Nato's ACE Rapid Reaction Corps, he was in charge of the 15,000-strong Nato force which waited in Macedonia for a settlement of the conflict.

He had prior experience of Balkans peacekeeping as commander of the UN implementation force in Bosnia between 1995 and 1996. Born into a military family, he joined the army at the age of 19 before graduating from Birmingham University in 1967. He transferred to the Parachute Regiment in 1970 after completing his time with the Intelligence Corps.

The general, whose military hero is the Duke of Wellington, rose to command the First Battalion of the Parachute Regiment between 1984 and 1986.

He has also commanded 3 (UK) Division, spent two years at the Ministry of Defence and served in Berlin and Northern Ireland.

He stepped down as head of K-For in October 1999 and has since been promoted to full general and made operational head of the British army. He was praised for his handling of the first four months of K-For's mission but he clashed with General Wesley Clark over the Nato commander's orders to intercept Russian forces which entered Kosovo without the alliance's agreement.

"I'm not going to start the Third World War for you," he is reported to have told General Clark.