Fred Ikle (1924-2011)

Fred IkleWe were sad to learn that Fred Ikle, author of Annihilation from Within: The Ultimate Threat to Nations and Every War Must End, passed away earlier this month.

Fred Ikle was undersecretary of Defense during Reagan’s second term and before that an important policymaker in the Defense Department. He is considered by many to have helped shape the deterrence policy that contributed to the end of the Cold War.

On the website for the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Sam Nunn writes, “Fred Iklé will be remembered as a giant in foreign policy and national security. He helped steer the Department of Defense through the final critical years of the Cold War and always imagined a more hopeful future based on the principles of democracy.”

His book Every War Must End examines how wars in the modern age have been brought to a close and what this process means for the future. Iklé considers a variety of examples from twentieth-century history and examines specific strategies that effectively “won the peace,” including the Allied policy in Germany and Japan after World War II.

His book influenced Colin Powell’s thinking on how to end the first Gulf War and in the revised edition, published in 2005, Ikle examined the failures of U.S. policy in the conduct of the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

In Annihilation from Within: The Ultimate Threat to Nations, Ikle examined some of the threat facing the twenty-first century world. You can read an interview with Ikle about the book.

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