Nitze, Paul Henry

Nitze, Paul Henry nĭt´sə [key], 1907–2004, American public official, b. Amherst, Mass., grad. Harvard, 1927. After working in investment banking, he entered government service in 1940 and served in a variety of posts, including that of vice chairman of the U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey (1944–46). As head of policy planning for the State Dept. (1950–53), he was the principal author of a highly influential secret National Security Council document (NSC-68), which provided the strategic outline for increased U.S. expenditures to counter the perceived threat of Soviet armament. He also served as Secretary of the Navy (1963–67) and Deputy Secretary of Defense (1967–69), as a member of the U.S. delegation to the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT; 1969–73), and Assistant Secretary of Defense for international affairs (1973–76). Later, fearing Soviet rearmament, he opposed the ratification of SALT II (1979). He was President Reagan's chief negotiator of the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty (1981–84). In 1984 he was named special adviser to the President and Secretary of State on Arms Control. For over forty years, Nitze was one of the chief architects of U.S. policy toward the Soviet Union.

See studies by S. Talbott (1988) and N. Thompson (2009).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2023, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: U.S. History: Biographies