| Theodore Achilles
(diplomat, deep state functionary, spook?)
Achilles in front of a map of Indochina.
|Theodore Carter Achilles
Rochester, New York
|1986-04-08 (Age 80)
|Stanford University, Yale University
|Alibi Club, Atlantic Institute, Council on Foreign Relations/Historical Members
| • NATO
• Bay of Pigs
• Cold War
Theodore Carter Achilles was an American diplomat who was a participant in a number of important treaty negotiations throughout his life, particularly those influential in reconstructing the world after World War II and the creation of NATO. He was in charge of a special task force preparing for the Bay of Pigs Invasion.
Achilles was born 29 December 1905 in Rochester, New York, to Gertrude Strong, the daughter of Eastman Kodak president Henry A. Strong, and Henry L. Achilles. Achilles's uncle, George R. Carter, was the second Governor of Hawaii, married to Helen Strong, another daughter of Henry A. Strong. Theodore Achilles graduated from Stanford University in 1925 with an AB, and endeavored in postgraduate studies at Yale University until 1928. During his time at Yale he was married in Los Angeles to Mrs. Louise Lord Coleman. In February 1933, Louise filed a divorce suit against her husband on grounds of cruelty (a formality needed in divorce proceedings then). Achilles was married to Marian Field four months later, with whom he had four children.
After his studies at Yale, Achilles became involved in newspapers in California and Japan. In 1932, he began a career in government as the U.S. Vice Consul in Havana. The following year, he held the same position in Rome, and was assigned the Department of State in 1935 to work with the general disarmament conference in Geneva.
World War 2
In 1939, he was assigned as third secretary at the American embassy in London. The following year, he served as U.S. representative to the governments in exile of Poland, Belgium, the Netherlands and Norway. In 1941, Achilles returned to the Department of State, and was appointed assistant chief at the division of British Commonwealth Affairs, before becoming chief. In 1945, he returned to London, where he was first secretary in the American embassy. He held the same position the following year in Brussels.
Achilles returned to Washington, D.C., in 1947 to head the Office of Western European Affairs, at the Department of State. In, 1950, he became U.S. vice deputy of the North Atlantic Council in London. Achilles served as Minister to Paris, from 1952 to 1960.
During his earlier days at the State Department, Achilles was a victim of Vincenzo Bafaro, who faked his signature on forged government documents. Achilles was an important FBI informant, against members of the State Department, during the Second Red Scare.
During January and February of 1948, Bevin, having accepted our suggestion of a collective defense arrangement, pushed on with negotiations with the French and Benelux governments which resulted in the Brussels Treaty, signed on March 17th. ...We had been pushing quietly ahead on two fronts. One was ultra-secret political and military talks with the British and Canadians about a treaty. The talks were held in the Joint Chiefs of Staff war room in the bowels of the Pentagon, and the very existence of the talks was so secret that the Joint Chiefs sent staff cars to pick up the various participants and deliver them directly to a secret entrance in the basement. It was so secret that one Pentagon chauffeur got lost trying to find it The United States was represented by Bob [Robert A.] Lovett, then Acting Secretary of State; General Alfred Gruenther, then director of the Joint Staffs; Jack; and myself. The Canadians were represented by Hume Wrong, the Ambassador; General Charles Foulkes, Chairman of their Joint Chiefs; Tommy Stone, Minister in the Embassy, and Louis Rogers, Second Secretary. The British team was Lord Inverchapel, the Ambassador; Sir Derick Hoyer-Millar, the Minister; the Chairman of their Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Donald McLean, Second Secretary of the Embassy. The talks--even their existence--were ultra, ultra secret, and to this day I don't believe anything has been written or said publicly about them...The talks lasted about two weeks and by the time they finished, it had been secretly agreed that there would be a treaty, and I had a draft of one in the bottom drawer of my safe...The eventual North Atlantic Treaty had the general form, and a good bit of the language of my first draft but with a number of important differences. 
Soviet Invasion Assessment
“I don't think there has ever been any serious danger of an all out Soviet armed attack west of the East German-West German frontier. The danger has been, and still is, that the Russians can resort to the same tactics they were using after the war, subversion and political blackmail backed by the threat of force--intimidating European Governments with the fear of Soviet force.”
Theodore Achilles 
Bay of Pigs
He was Ambassador to Peru, from 1956 to 1960.
He returned to Washington again in 1960, when President Eisenhower made him counselor of the Department of State. In this capacity, he was in charge of a special task force preparing for the Bay of Pigs Invasion. From 1961 to 1962, he was special assistant to Secretary of State Rusk. He retired from the State Department in 1962. In the same year, President Kennedy appointed Achilles as his representative at a ceremony marking the independence of Algeria.
After his retirement from government, Achilles became a director and Vice Chairman of the Atlantic Council of the United States, a deep state think tank close to NATO. He also became a governor of the Atlantic Institute (1969–1973); a consultant for NASA (1963–1960); and Vice Chairman of the International Management and Development Institute. He was a major player in the drafting of the North Atlantic Treaty in 1949, and much of the later years of his life were spent pushing for further integration of NATO. He was a proponent of a full Atlantic federal union, at first including the UK and Canada. Achilles also sought further integration of the International Monetary Fund.
He was a member of a number of conferences throughout his life, particularly those influential in reconstructing the world after World War II. He was a member of the U.S. delegation to the International Labor Organization Conference, 1941; the U.N. Conference on Food and Agriculture, 1943; the U.N. Conference on International Organization, 1945; the Council of Foreign Ministers, 1945; the first session of the U.N. Assembly, 1946, the second session of the U.N. Assembly, 1947; the Paris Conference, 1946; the North Atlantic Pact Negotiations, 1948–1949; NATO, 1950–1952, 1960; and CENTO, SEATO and Colombo Plan Conferences, 1960.
Achilles was co-editor of The Atlantic Community Quarterly, from 1963 to 1975.
As with many of his close relatives, he served on the board of the Eastman Kodak Co. from 1965.
Achilles was a member of the secretive Alibi Club, Beta Theta Pi, Brook Club of New York, Chevy Chase Club, Council on Foreign Relations, the Metropolitan Club of Washington and had attended the Bilderberg Group.
He died on 8 April 1986 of an embolism in Washington, D.C. He was laid to rest at the Saint John's Episcopal Church Cemetery.
Event Participated in
|28 May 1960
|29 May 1960
|The 9th such meeting and the first one in Switzerland. 61 participants + 4 "in attendance". The meeting report contains a press statement, 4 sentences long.