In Memoriam: Charles William Maynes Jr

By Ginsburg, Zachary | Arms Control Today, July/August 2007 | Go to article overview
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In Memoriam: Charles William Maynes Jr


Ginsburg, Zachary, Arms Control Today


Reviewing a biography in The New York Times on British arms control advocate and scientist Solly Zuckerman, Charles William "Bill" Maynes Jr. wrote, "One of life's mysteries is why some individuals accomplish so much." Maynes exemplified this mystery: he was a Rhodes Scholar, a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard University, a foreign service officer, secretary of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, chief nonproject economist for the U.S. Agency for International Development mission in Laos, issues staff head for 1972 Democratic vice presidential candidate Sargent Shriver, senior legislative assistant to Sen. Fred Harris (D-OkIa.), assistant secretary of state for international organization affairs, Eurasia Foundation president, editor-in-chief of Foreign Policy magazine, and an Arms Control Association board member.

An expert both on politics and economics, Maynes was named one of the most influential U.S. experts on foreign policy by the World Affairs Councils of America. Foreign Policy magazine describes his breadth of knowledge and experience as "legendary in Washington."

"Bill Maynes was an important member of the generation that developed the legal and institutional arrangements for international security accommodation," said Arms Control Association Board Chairman John Steinbruner. "His persistent commitment to equitable reason and his resistance to belligerence were inspirational qualities that will long be remembered by those privileged to observe them." Maynes, an ACA board member since October 2001, died of cancer June 2 at his home in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

As an assistant secretary of state, Maynes oversaw peacekeeping operations in Lebanon and witnessed the independence of Namibia. After leaving the Department of State in 1980, he became editor-in-chief Foreign Policy magazine, a position he held for more years than any other editor. Under his leadership, the magazine earned numerous awards and gained broader readership.

Maynes' opinions on the course of American international affairs at the magazine were widely respected. During the Cold War, he criticized Republican and Democratic administrations for weak, incoherent foreign policy doctrines that resulted in a destabilizing reliance on military arsenals and interventionism. "There maybe particular circumstances for which military measures are appropriate," he and his predecessor at Foreign Policy, Richard H. Ullman, remarked in 1980, "but as a panacea, such a prescription represents a political hoax on the American people."

During the arms buildups of the early 1980s, Maynes called for a diplomatic cooling between the United States and the Soviet Union.

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