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David Manker Abshire
United States Ambassador to NATO

In office
July 13, 1983 – January 5, 1987
President Ronald Reagan
Preceded by William Tapley Bennett Jr.
Succeeded by Alton G. Keel Jr.
United States Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs

In office
April 20, 1970 – January 8, 1973
President Richard Nixon
Preceded by William B. Macomber Jr.
Succeeded by Marshall Wright
Personal details
Born David Manker Abshire
(1926-04-11)April 11, 1926
Chattanooga, Tennessee
Died October 31, 2014(2014-10-31) (aged 88)
Alexandria, Virginia
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Carolyn Lamar Sample
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1951–1955
Battles/wars Korean War

David Manker Abshire (April 11, 1926 – October 31, 2014) served as a Special Counselor to President Reagan and was the United States Permanent Representative to NATO from 1983 to 1987. Abshire presided over the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress.

In July 2002, he was elected President of the Richard Lounsbery Foundation of New York. He was a member of the exclusive Alfalfa Club.[1]

Abshire was a Republican and the author of seven books, the most recent being A Call to Greatness: Challenging Our Next President, which was published in 2008. Abshire was married and had five children.

He was a member of the advisory council of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation[2] and sat on the advisory board of America Abroad Media.[3]

Background[edit | edit source]

Abshire was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee in 1926. He graduated from The Bright School in 1938, Baylor School in Chattanooga in 1944 and from West Point in 1951. He fought in the Korean War and was decorated as a company commander. Abshire received his doctorate in History from Georgetown University in 1959, where for many years he was an adjunct professor at its Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. He is a member of the Project on National Security Reform.[4][5]

Political life[edit | edit source]

In 1962, Abshire and Admiral Arleigh Burke founded the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). In 1988, as President of CSIS, he merged the Hawaii-based Pacific Forum into his organization to give it more input from the Asia-Pacific region. Dr. Abshire served as Assistant Secretary of State for Congressional Relations from 1970 to 1973 and later as Chairman of the U.S. Board of International Broadcasting (1975–77). He was a member of the Murphy Commission (1974–75), the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (1981–1982), and the President's Task Force on U.S. Government International Broadcasting (1991).[6]

During the transition of government in 1980, Abshire was asked by President-elect Reagan to head the National Security Group, which included the State and Defense Departments, the U.S. Information Agency, and the Central Intelligence Agency. He served for nine years on the board of Procter & Gamble.[7]

Ambassador to NATO[edit | edit source]

In 1983–1987 Abshire was Ambassador to NATO where, in reaction to the threat posed by Soviet SS-20 missiles, he was appointed to oversee the deployment of Pershing and Cruise missiles. For his service, he was given the Distinguished Public Service Medal.[7]

Special Counselor to President Reagan[edit | edit source]

Abshire was recalled as the Iran-Contra Affair unfolded to serve as Special Counselor to President Reagan with Cabinet rank. His charge was to assure a full investigation of the sale of arms to Iran so as to restore the confidence of the nation in the Reagan presidency.

Honors[edit | edit source]

Death[edit | edit source]

Abshire died on October 31, 2014, of pulmonary fibrosis in Alexandria, Virginia.[9][10]

Bibliography[edit | edit source]

  • National Security: Political, Military, and Economic Strategies in the Decade Ahead, 1963.<Library of Congress 63-17834>
  • The South Rejects a Prophet: the Life of Senator D. M. Key, 1824–1900, Praeger, 1967. OCLC 1283029
  • International Broadcasting: A New Dimension of Western Diplomacy, 1976. ISBN 0803906579 OCLC 2401630
  • Foreign Policy Makers: President vs. Congress, 1979. ISBN 080391332X OCLC 5707721
  • Preventing World War III: A Realistic Grand Strategy, 1988. ISBN 0060159863
  • Putting America's House in Order: The Nation as a Family (with Brock Brower), 1996. ISBN 0275954315 OCLC 33281228
  • Saving the Reagan Presidency: Trust Is the Coin of the Realm, 2005. (with Richard E Neustadt) ISBN 1585444669 OCLC 57722422
  • A Call to Greatness: Challenging Our Next President, 2008. ISBN 9780742562455 OCLC 174040251

References[edit | edit source]

  1. USC Center on Public Diplomacy Profile of David M. Abshire[dead link], uscpublicdiplomacy.org; accessed October 31, 2014.
  2. "National Advisory Council". Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation. Archived from the original on 2011-05-22. https://www.webcitation.org/5yrIR6dfP?url=http://www.victimsofcommunism.org/about/nationaladvisors.php. Retrieved 2011-05-20. 
  3. Profile Archived 2014-07-16 at the Wayback Machine., americaabroadmedia.org; accessed October 31, 2014.
  4. CSIS Abshire biodata, csis.org; accessed October 31, 2014.
  5. Abshire profile, rlounsbery.org; accessed October 31, 2014.
  6. Profile, Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress], thepresidency.org; accessed October 31, 2014.
  7. 7.0 7.1 The Civility Defense Force, Washington Post, April 7, 2006; accessed October 31, 2014.
  8. Awards and Honors.com
  9. Langer, Emily (November 1, 2014). "David M. Abshire, CSIS founder, NATO ambassador and policymaker, dies at 88 – The Washington Post". The Washington Post. Washington DC: WPC. ISSN 0190-8286. https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/david-m-abshire-csis-founder-nato-ambassador-and-policymaker-dies-at-88/2014/11/01/104dbe42-610f-11e4-8b9e-2ccdac31a031_story.html. Retrieved November 3, 2014. 
  10. Ambassador David M. Abshire, CSPC Vice Chairman, dies

External links[edit | edit source]

Government offices
Preceded by
William B. Macomber, Jr.
Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs
Succeeded by
Marshall Wright
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
W. Tapley Bennett, Jr.
United States Permanent Representative to NATO
Succeeded by
Alton G. Keel, Jr.

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