Diplomat scholar Michael Krepon remembered for his work in South Asia

Image Credit: @StimsonCenter

Krepon ‘worked with a generation of leaders in both India and Pakistan to build confidence between adversaries’

US diplomat scholar Michael Krepon, co-founder of the Stimson Center, a Washington think tank noted for building the first exclusive South Asia Confidence Building Measures (CBM’s) program, has passed.

“Our community is deeply saddened at the passing of Michael Krepon, co-founder of the Stimson Center and a tireless advocate for international peace and security,” the Center said in an announcement about his death on July 16 at the age of 75.

Krepon was an internationally renowned leader in the fight to prevent nuclear war and an eloquent advocate for pragmatic ways to reduce the threat that nuclear weapons pose to our civilization, the Center said.

Read: Celebrated Indian American writer Ved Mehta passes away (January 11, 2021)

As President of the Stimson Center, with co-founder Barry Blechman, he played essential roles in the creation of the Open Skies Treaty, the permanent extension of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, and ratification of the Chemical Weapons Convention, each landmark achievements in their own right.

“Michael’s impact was also especially felt in South Asia, where he worked with a generation of leaders in both India and Pakistan to apply the lessons of the Cold War, build confidence between adversaries, and reduce the chance of nuclear war on the subcontinent,” the Center said.

“Mike was such a close friend, whom I interviewed tons of time for India Abroad and was always so generous with his time and would provide extensive quotes even in the middle of the night when I would call him at home for one story or another,” said Aziz Haniffa, South Asian Affairs analyst and former executive editor of India Abroad, in a tribute.

The Stimson Center that he founded, was the first DC think tank to have an exclusive South Asia Confidence Building Measures (CBM’s) program, he note d

During his tenure Krepon “provided several internships for young Indian and Pakistani and South Asian Americans and was always on hand to mentor them,” Haniffa said noting “today many of them serve on leading university faculty and also serve or have served in both Democratic and Republican Administrations and/or at leading think tanks.”

“He was also a committed and principled nonproliferationist and even though he caught a lot of flak and trolling from even some of his closest Indian friends and other South Asian experts for his opposition to the US-India nuke deal because New Delhi was not a signatory to the NPT (Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty), he stuck to his guns, but always with such aplomb—dignified and never obnoxious in making his arguments.” Haniffa said.

“Mike was certainly one class act!” he added.

Krepon co-founded the Stimson Center in 1989. He served as Stimson’s President and CEO until 2000. He was appointed the University of Virginia’s Diplomat Scholar, where he taught from 2001-2010, while working at Stimson.

Read: ‘Fierce advocate for peace’ — US scholar Michael Krepon, who fought against nuclear weapons, dies (July 18, 2022)

He was the author and editor of 23 books, including Winning and Losing the Nuclear Peace: The Rise, Demise, and Revival of Arms Control, Off Ramps from Confrontation in Southern Asia and The Lure and Pitfalls of MIRVs: From the First to the Second Nuclear Age.

He worked previously in the executive branch and on Capitol Hill. He received the Carnegie Endowment’s award for lifetime achievement in non-governmental work to reduce nuclear dangers in 2015.

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