Former Defense Secretary James Schlesinger Dies


Onetime economics professor and longtime nuclear strategist James R. Schlesinger, who held a long string of Cabinet and other high-level posts through three administrations, had died.  He was 85.

Schlesinger built an impressive national-security resume under presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford and served as the nation’s first energy secretary under President Jimmy Carter during the energy crisis of the late 1970s. Earlier, he served as a White House budget official, chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission and director of the CIA under Nixon; and as defense secretary under both Nixon and Ford. In later years, he served on several defense and nuclear-energy related government advisory boards and panels.

Schlesinger was “a remarkable public servant,” former Sen. Sam Nunn (D-Ga.), said.

Schlesinger gained a reputation as a perceptive thinker on nuclear strategy, advocating a retreat from reliance on mutually assured destruction as a means of avoiding nuclear war with the Soviet Union.

“Deterrence is not a substitute for defense,” he said.