WOBURN, Mass., Dec. 26 (UPI) -- Noted Massachusetts Institute of Technology political scientist William Kaufmann has died in Woburn, Mass., at the age of 90, his wife says.
Kaufmann's wife and sole survivor, Julia, said the defense analyst who advised seven U.S. defense secretaries during his prestigious career died of Alzheimer's disease earlier this month, the San Francisco Chronicle said Wednesday.
"The Wizards of Armageddon" author Fred Kaplan said Kaufmann, who died on Dec. 14, was vital in altering the aggressive nuclear weapons stance held by U.S. officials during the 1950s regarding the Soviet Union.
"Kaufmann comes into this world and concludes that this is just insane, not just because of moral considerations but also strategic," Kaplan said of a proposed plan to use nuclear weapons if Soviet troops ever invaded Europe.
The Boston Globe said during his 20-year tenure at the Pentagon, Kaufmann also shared his political insights with MIT graduate students.
Former federal counterterrorism adviser Richard A. Clarke and ex-CIA weapons instructor Charles A. Duelfer were among Kaufmann's former students.