Paul Henry Nitze was born in Amherst, Massachusetts, on 16th January, 1907. After graduating from Harvard University in 1927 he worked as an investment banker in Wall Street. Over the next few years Nitze became extremely wealthy from his business activities in New York. During this period he worked for C. Douglas Dillon and Jim Forrestal at Dillon, Read & Company.
In 1940 Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed Jim Forrestal as under secretary of the navy with special responsibility for procurement and production. Forrestal invited Nitze to join him in Washington. In 1944 Nitze became vice chairman of the United States Strategic Bombing Survey. In this post he played an important role in the decision to drop nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
After the war Nitze married Phyllis Pratt, a Standard Oil heiress.While in Washington he associated with a group of journalists, politicians and government officials that became known as the Georgetown Set. This included Frank Wisner, George Kennan, Dean Acheson, Richard Bissell, Desmond FitzGerald, Joseph Alsop, Stewart Alsop, Tracy Barnes, Thomas Braden, Philip Graham, David Bruce, Clark Clifford, Walt Rostow, Eugene Rostow, Chip Bohlen, Cord Meyer, James Angleton, William Averill Harriman, John McCloy, Felix Frankfurter, John Sherman Cooper, James Reston, and Allen W. Dulles.
In 1950 Nitze became head of Policy Planning in the State Department. In this post he was the principal author of a highly influential secret National Security Council document, United States Objectives and Programs for National Security (NSC-68), which provided the strategic outline for increased U.S. expenditures to counter the perceived threat of the Soviet Union.
After the resignation of Fred Korth as a result of the TFX scandal, President John F. Kennedy appointed Nitze as Secretary of the Navy. He retained this position under President Lyndon Johnson. In 1967 Nitze became Deputy Secretary of Defense.
In 1969 President Richard Nixon appointed Nitze as a member of the US delegation to the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT). Nitze also served as Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Affairs (197376).
In August 1975, the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (PFIAB) wrote a letter to President Gerald Ford proposing that an outside group of experts be given access to the same intelligence as the CIA analysts and be allowed to prepare a competing National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) and then make an evaluation. The outside group would be called the B Team. The CIA and the intelligence community estimates would be the A Team.
William Colby, the director of the CIA, rejected the idea. On 30 January 1976, Gerald Ford sacked Colby and replaced him with George H. W. Bush. Soon afterwards Bush agreed to the setting up a B Team. As a result of this move, outsiders would now have access to all of America's classified knowledge about the Soviet Military. Hank Knoche, Bush's deputy, was ordered to organize this new system. Interestingly, Paisley was brought out of retirement to become the CIA 'coordinator' for the B Team. It was Paisley who would control the documents that they saw and the information they received.
Members of the B Team included Paul Nitze, Richard E. Pipes, Clare Boothe Luce, John Connally, General Daniel O. Graham, Edward Teller, Paul Wolfowitz (Arms Control and Disarmament Agency), General John W. Vogt, Brigadier General Jasper A. Welch, William van Cleeve (University of Southern California), Foy D. Kohler (U.S. Ambassador to Moscow), Seymour Weiss (State Department) and Thomas W. Wolfe (Rand Corporation).
In 1981 President Ronald Reagan appointed him as chief negotiator of the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty. In 1984 he was named special adviser to the President and Secretary of State on Arms Control.
Paul Nitze died on 19th October, 2004.