Ikle, Fred Charles 1924–

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Ikle, Fred Charles 1924–


Surname is pronounced "Ee-clay;" born August 21, 1924, in Samaden, Switzerland; son of Fritz A. and Hedwig Ikle; married Doris Eisemann (an economist), December 23, 1959; children: Judith, Miriam. Education: University of Chicago, M.A., 1948, Ph.D., 1950.


Office—Center for Strategic and International Studies, 1800 K St., N.W., Washington, DC 20006-2202.


Columbia University, New York, NY, research associate in Bureau of Applied Social Research, 1950-54; RAND Corp., Santa Monica, CA, staff member, 1955-61; Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, research associate in Center for International Affairs, 1962-63; Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, professor of political science, 1964-67; RAND Corp., head of social science department, 1968-72; U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, Washington, DC, director, 1973-77; Conservation Management Corp., chairman, 1978-81, 1988; U.S. Department of Defense, Washington, under secretary for policy, 1981-88; Center for International and Strategic Studies, Washington, Distinguished Scholar, 1988—. Chairman of the Republican National Committee's Advisory Council on International Security, 1977-79; coordinator of Governor Ronald Reagan's Foreign Policy Advisors, 1979-80; commission on Integrated Long-Term Strategy, cochair; served on the National Commission on Terrorism that produced its report for President William Jefferson Clinton in 2000; consultant to U.S. Department of State and U.S. Information Agency; signatory of the Project for the New American Century Statement of Principles, 1997; chairman of the board of the Telos Corporation; board member of the RAND Drug Policy Research Center, Center for Security Policy, and American Foreign Policy Council; director of the Zurich-American Insurance Companies and of CMC Energy Services; governor of the Smith Richardson Foundation; chairman of the U.S. Committee for Human Rights in North Korea; director of the National Endowment for Democracy and Defense Forum Foundation.


Council on Foreign Relations, American Sociological Association, Population Association of America, American Political Science Association, Institute of Strategic Studies.


Rockefeller Foundation grants, 1953, 1962; Distinguished Service Medal, U.S. Department of Defense, 1975 and 1987; Bronze Palm, 1988.


The Growth of China's Scientific and Technical Manpower, RAND Corp. (Santa Monica, CA), 1957.

The Social Impact of Bomb Destruction, University of Oklahoma Press (Norman, OK), 1958.

Alternative Approaches to the International Organization of Disarmament, RAND Corp. (Santa Monica, CA), 1962.

How Nations Negotiate, Harper (New York, NY), 1964, Kraus (Millwood, NY), 1982.

International Negotiation; American Shortcomings in Negotiating with Communist Powers. Memorandum Prepared at the Request of the Subcommittee onNational Security and International Operations (pursuant to S. Res. 311, 91st. Cong.) of the Committee on Government Operations, U.S. Senate, U.S. Government Printing Office (Washington), 1970.

Every War Must End, Columbia University Press (New York, NY), 1971, 2nd revised edition, 2005.

Annihilation from Within: The Ultimate Threat to Nations, Columbia University Press (New York, NY), 2006.

Contributor to works by others, including Toward the Year 2000: Work in Progress, edited by Daniel Bell, Houghton, 1968, The International Political System: A Reader, edited by Romano Romani, Wiley, 1971, and Harmonizing the Evolution of U.S. and Russian Defense Policies; contributor to political affairs journals.


Fred Charles Ikle has held many important posts through which he has influenced and created domestic and international policy on behalf of the United States. A political scientist, Ikle has been a bipartisan advisor under administrations of both Democratic and Republican presidents. In addition, he has been key to many initiatives over the years that concern U.S. security and defense.

Ikle is the author of several books, including Annihilation from Within: The Ultimate Threat to Nations, described as being "a suggestive and disturbing book," by Robert S. Leiken in a review posted at National Interest Online. "Based on his practical experience and the futuristic thinking for which he has become known, his book calls attention to developing threats that receive little official attention or discussion in the media."

Ikle is a life-long opponent of nuclear warfare, and his fear is that the availability of information now increases the likelihood that terrorists and other groups will easily be able to procure weapons of mass destruction. In addition, he fears that political will is failing to prevent advances in science and technology that are reshaping the world. Ikle, as quoted by Leiken, sees the greatest threat as coming from computer-based artificial intelligence that "would revolutionize all prior considerations about national security." In calculating advances in circuitry, a human robot could conceivably be developed before the year 2100. In this event, Ikle fears, American morality would put the country at a disadvantage against an adversary with no such inhibitions. These possibilities raise the questions of whether or not the internet should be regulated with a goal of keeping dangerous technology out of the hands of those who would use it for sinister purposes, and whether we should put our scientific efforts into reaching what Ikle feels will be the ultimate power of technology.

In an interview available at the Web site of the Columbia University Press, Ikle stated: "What is bad is that democratic governments can't stop nuclear proliferation, can't prevent medical advances in biotechnology from being misused by some country to make biological warfare agents, and that the divergence will become wider between the powers and capabilities of the political order (whether national or international), on the one hand, and the accelerating power of technology, on the other. Short of a cataclysmic upheaval there is no historic force, no political movement, no unifying religion in sight that could halt, let alone reverse this widening divergence."



American Spectator, July 1, 2007, "Will We Always Have Paris?," p. 78.

Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, July 1992, review of Every War Must End, p. 1755; July 1, 1992, R.M. Bigler, review of Every War Must End, p. 1755.

Comparative Strategy, January 1, 2007, Melaine Sarah Inglis, review of Annihilation from Within: The Ultimate Threat to Nations, p. 59.

Japan Economic Newswire, October 27, 1989, "Former U.S. Official Stresses China Threat in Asia," p. 891027061.

Journal of Military History, July, 2005, review of Every War Must End, p. 897.

Journal of Peace Research, February, 1993, review of Every War Must End, p. 120.

National Interest, spring, 1994, James Sherr, review of Harmonizing the Evolution of U.S. and Russian Defense Policies.

New York Times, January 27, 1981, "No. 3 Defense Dept. Job Is Expected to Go to Ikle," p. 12; February 8, 1981, "Ikle Is Picked for Defense Post," p. 18; May 29, 1985, "U.S. Studies New Plan on Nuclear War," p. 8; June 1, 1985, "Official Disputes an Article on Offensive Atom Weapons," p. 29.

Policy Review, summer, 1989, "The Ever-present Danger."

U.S. News & World Report, April 16, 1984, "A ‘Sea Change’ in U.S. Approach to Arms Control" (interview).


Columbia University Press Web site, http://www.columbia.edu/ (November 27, 2007), "Interview with Charles Ikle."

National Interest Online,http://www.nationalinterest.org/ (February 27, 2007), Robert S. Leiken, review of Annihilation from Within.

Source Watch,http://www.sourcewatch.org/ (November 27, 2007), biography.