Heroes of Arms Control

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Heroes of Arms Control by Michael Krepon

Building something of lasting importance is hard work; tearing it down is comparatively easy. In this troubled time when the nuclear safety net is being shredded, let us briefly pause to give tribute to its master weavers. I’ve gotten to know two of them better by doing research for my book on the rise, demise and revival of nuclear arms control. These two men were present at the creation of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency — William C. Foster and Adrian “Butch” Fisher. During their tenure as Director and Deputy Director from 1961-69, the “Hotline” was created, and the Limited Test Ban Treaty, the Treaty of Tlatelolco, the Outer Space Treaty and the Nonproliferation Treaty were negotiated. Not bad for government work.

Bill Foster was reserved, formal, low key, and confident in his capabilities. During World War I, he left MIT to join the Army Air Corps. He was a public relations-savvy, trans-Atlantic businessman, having served as Director and Vice-President for Public Affairs of the Olin Mathieson Chemical Corporation. Habitually dressed in white shirt, dark suit and thin dark tie, he looked like one of the martini-drinking Mad Men in the Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce Advertising Agency.

Read the full article in Arms Control Wonk.

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