Andrew Goodpaster

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Person.png Andrew Goodpaster   History CommonsRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Andrew Goodpaster.jpg
Granite City, Illinois, U.S.
Died2005-05-16 (Age 90)
Washington DC
Alma materUnited States Military Academy, Command and General Staff School, Princeton University
Member ofCommittee on the Present Danger/Members
Double Bilderberg SACEUR

Employment.png Supreme Allied Commander Europe Wikipedia-icon.png

In office
1 July 1969 - 15 December 1974
Preceded byLyman Lemnitzer
Succeeded byAlexander Haig

Employment.png White House Staff Secretary

In office
October 1954 - January 20, 1961
Position akin to today's National Security Adviser

Andrew Jackson Goodpaster (February 12, 1915 – May 16, 2005) was an American Army General. He was US President Dwight Eisenhower’s staff secretary and helped to establish NATO. He then served as NATO's Supreme Allied Commander, Europe (SACEUR) and Commander in Chief of the United States European Command (CINCEUR) from 1969, until his retirement December 17, 1974.[1] He was also a presidential adviser who served through seven successive administrations[2]

He served on American Security Council and founded the Committee on the Present Danger, emphasizing the Soviet Union's military threat and a corresponding need for a strong military spending for the United States.

General Goodpaster returned to service in June 1977 as the 51st Superintendent of the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, until he retired again in July 1981, to move over to the Chairman of the deep state Atlantic Council 1985-1997.

General Goodpaster attended the Bilderberg meeting in 1970, 1974 and possibly also 1968,[citation needed] before he was appointed Supreme Allied Commander Europe.


Goodpaster entered the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1935, followed in 1939 by a commission as a second lieutenant in the Corps of Engineers after graduating second in his class of 456. After serving in Panama, he returned to the U.S. in mid-1942, and in 1943, he attended a wartime course at the Command and General Staff School, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

During World War II, Goodpaster commanded the 48th Combat Engineer Battalion in North Africa and Italy. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the Silver Star, and two Purple Hearts for his service in World War II. His combat experience was cut short in January 1944, when he was severely wounded and sent back to the United States to recover. After his wounds had healed, he was assigned to the War Planning Office under General Marshall, where he served the duration of the war.

He received a Ph.D. in politics from Princeton University in 1950 after completing a doctoral dissertation titled "National technology and international politics."[3] During the latter six months of 1950, he was assigned to the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Washington as a member of the Joint Advance Study Committee.

In the influential Solarium Project, which role played how the Cold War should be fought, he played the "roll-back" team, going for a hard, military line. Eisenhower picked Goodpaster not because he was known to sympathise with the roll-back approach, but because he trusted his aide's integrity.[4]

In December 1950 General Goodpaster went to Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, as Special Assistant to the Chief of Staff, and served in that capacity until July 1954. He then had an unexplained interlude when he was named U.S. District Engineer at San Francisco, California. He held that position until 10 October 1954, when he assumed duties on the White House Staff as Defense Liaison Officer and Staff Secretary to the President of the United States. He served in that capacity through President of the United States.[5] He played a part in the decision to prop up South Vietnam after 1954 and to hinder Vietnamese national elections[6]

He served in that capacity through President Eisenhower’s tenure, and stayed with President Kennedy for two months at the beginning of the latter’s term in office, leaving on 20 March 1961 for assignment with troops in Germany,[5] where he was under the Berlin Wall Crisis in 1961.

In November 1962 he was assigned as Special Assistant (Policy) to the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff. In January 1964 his duties were expanded and title changed to Assistant to the chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff. He held this position until July 1966.[5]

He served in Vietnam[2] At various times during the period 1964 – 1968, he served in a representative and advisory capacity to President Lyndon Johnson on special assignments as an additional duty. He also served as the Senior Military Advisor to Ambassador Harriman and was third ranking member of the U.S. Delegation for the Paris negotiations with North Vietnam, in the spring of 1968 before taking up hi duties in Vietnam in July.[5]

General Goodpaster assumed the post of Commander-in-Chief, United States European Command on 5 May 1969 and Supreme Allied Commander, Europe on 1 July 1969. His U.S. European Command responsibility was expanded to include the Middle East in 1971. He was retired on 17 December 1974.

Goodpaster was seen by many as the quintessential "soldier-scholar."[4] He later received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Princeton in 1979. [7]

First retirement

After retiring in 1974, he served as senior fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in 1975–76, and taught at The Citadel. His book, For the Common Defense was published in 1977.[8]

He was brought back to active duty as Superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy (1977–1981) after 1976 West Point cheating scandal involving 151 cadets (see also, 1951 West Point cheating scandal). Although he had retired with the rank of General (four star), he voluntarily served as superintendent at the lower rank of Lieutenant General (three stars), since the billet carries that rank.

Second retirement and later years

In 1981, when Goodpaster retired for the second time, being advanced back to four-star rank. He then moved to the Atlantic Council, which he led for more than a decade.

Goodpaster played a quiet but critical role in the shadows, helping, for example, to convince Ronald Reagan to embrace Mikhail Gorbachev and his reforms, drafting the initial post-Cold War security arrangements for the states of Central and Eastern Europe (NATO expansion), and helping the Pentagon plan for the overhaul of nuclear policy.[4]

He died at age 90 at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and is interred at Arlington National Cemetery.[9][10]

Advocacy for the elimination of nuclear weapons

In his later years, Goodpaster was vocal in advocating the reduction of nuclear weapons. Later his position evolved to advocating for elimination of all nuclear weapons. In September 1994, he commented, "Increasingly, nuclear weapons are seen to constitute a nuisance and a danger rather than a benefit or a source of strength."[11] In 1996, along with General Lee Butler and Rear Admiral Eugene Carroll, Goodpaster co-authored a statement for the Global Security Institute advocating the complete elimination of nuclear weapons due to their danger and lack of military utility.[12]

Civilian service

Goodpaster was a fellow at the Eisenhower Institute, and the Institute for Defense Analyses in Washington.

He was a trustee and a chairman of the George C. Marshall Foundation, which established the Andrew J. Goodpaster Award to honor, "American business leaders, politicians, military leaders and others who have served our nation in exemplary ways, who, like General Goodpaster, have exhibited great courage, selfless service, patriotism and leadership in their lives and careers."[13] Among the recipients have been John P. Jumper, Raymond T. Odierno, Gordon R. Sullivan, and Brent Scowcroft.

For many years in retirement, Goodpaster was a trustee of St. Mary's College of Maryland, playing important roles in advancing the school to national prominence. A building on the school's campus, Goodpaster Hall, is named in his honor.[14]

Key assignments


Events Participated in

Bilderberg/197017 April 197019 April 1970Switzerland
Hotel Quellenhof
Bad Ragaz
the 19th Bilderberg meeting, in Switzerland.
Bilderberg/197419 April 197421 April 1974France
Hotel Mont d' Arbois
The 23rd Bilderberg, held in the UK