News

Voice of America
DATE= JANUARY 21, 1997
TITLE= EDITORIAL: TRIBUTE TO ALBERT WOHLSTETTER

CONTENT=THIS IS THE SECOND OF TWO EDITORIALS BEING RELEASED FOR BROADCAST
JANUARY 21, 1997.

ANNCR: THE VOICE OF AMERICA PRESENTS DIFFERING POINTS OF VIEW ON A WIDE VARIETY OF ISSUES. NEXT, AN EDITORIAL REFLECTING AMERICAN IDEALS AND INSTITUTIONS.

VOICE:

ALBERT WOHLSTETTER, ONE OF AMERICA'S GREAT STRATEGIC THINKERS, DIED THIS MONTH AT AGE EIGHTY-THREE. FOR DECADES, MR. WOHLSTETTER ADVISED UNITED STATES LEADERS FROM BOTH THE DEMOCRATIC AND REPUBLICAN PARTIES ON DEFENSE STRATEGY. LITTLE KNOWN TO THE PUBLIC, HE WAS HIGHLY RESPECTED BY THOSE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE SECURITY OF THE U.S. AND ITS ALLIES. MR. WOHLSTETTER WAS CONSIDERED A MAJOR INTELLECTUAL FORCE BEHIND EFFORTS TO AVOID THE SPREAD OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS AND THE DRIVE TO REDUCE RELIANCE ON THEM BY DEVELOPING NON-NUCLEAR SYSTEMS.

AFTER STUDYING MATHEMATICS AT CITY COLLEGE OF NEW YORK AND COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY, ALBERT WOHLSTETTER WORKED IN THE 1940S WITH THE WAR PRODUCTION BOARD AND IN THE AVIATION INDUSTRY. IN 1951, HE JOINED THE CALIFORNIA-BASED RAND CORPORATION AND WORKED AS A SENIOR POLICY ANALYST FOR ABOUT A DOZEN YEARS, FOLLOWED BY SEVERAL DECADES AS A RAND CONSULTANT. IN THE EARLY 1960S, HE TAUGHT AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA AND FROM 1964 TO 1980, AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO.

ALBERT WOHLSTETTER SERVED AS AN ADVISER TO PRESIDENT JOHN KENNEDY DURING THE 1962 CUBAN MISSILE CRISIS. IN THE LATE 1960S, HE WAS ONE OF THE LEADERS OF A PUBLIC COMMITTEE THAT SUPPORTED THE DEVELOPMENT OF AN ANTI-BALLISTIC MISSILE SYSTEM. IN THE 1980S, MR. WOHLSTETTER SERVED ON THE PRESIDENT'S FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE ADVISORY BOARD. OVER SEVERAL DECADES, MR. WOHLSTETTER CONDUCTED TECHNICAL STUDIES -- MANY OF THEM HIGHLY CLASSIFIED -- AND WROTE BOOKS AND ARTICLES THAT HAD A MAJOR INFLUENCE ON U.S. OFFICIALS. HE ALSO INFLUENCED MANY OFFICIALS AS A FRIEND AND MENTOR, AMONG THEM.

OVER THE YEARS, ALBERT WOHLSTETTER OFTEN WORKED WITH HIS WIFE ROBERTA, A PROMINENT HISTORIAN WHO SURVIVES HIM. IN 1985, PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN AWARDED THEM JOINTLY THE MEDAL OF FREEDOM, AMERICA'S HIGHEST CIVILIAN HONOR. AS THE CITATION SAYS, ALBERT AND ROBERTA WOHLSTETTER "MARSHALED LOGIC, SCIENCE, AND HISTORY AND ENLARGED OUR DEMOCRACY'S CAPACITY TO LEARN AND TO ACT. THROUGH THEIR WORK, WE HAVE SEEN THAT MANKIND'S SAFETY NEED NOT REST ON THREATS TO THE INNOCENT, AND THAT NUCLEAR WEAPONS NEED NOT SPREAD INEXORABLY. THEIR POWERS OF THOUGHT AND EXPOSITION ARE, IN THEMSELVES, AMONG THE FREE WORLD'S BEST DEFENSES."

ANNCR:

THAT WAS AN EDITORIAL REFLECTING AMERICAN IDEALS AND INSTITUTIONS. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE HEARD ON THIS ISSUE, PLEASE WRITE TO EDITORIALS, VOICE OF AMERICA, WASHINGTON, D-C, 20547, U-S-A. YOU MAY ALSO SEND US A FAX AT (202) 619-1043. YOUR COMMENTS MAY BE USED ON THE AIR.

17-Jan-97 12:23 PM EST (1723 UTC)
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Source: Voice of America