George Kolt Lieutenant – Colonel, United States Air Force CIA Officer

George Kolt, 66, a retired CIA officer and well-known authority on Russian, European and Eurasian geopolitics, died of cancer July 18, 2005, at his home in Arlington, Virginia.

Colonel Kolt became the Central Intelligence Agency's chief Soviet watcher, testifying at Senate hearings about Soviet reforms in the early 1990s and often lecturing on the political and policy dynamics occurring in that region.

A retired Air Force colonel, he specialized in Soviet and European affairs during his 23-year military career. Beginning in 1963, he held military, intelligence and academic postings.

From 1965 to 1967, he served as a member of the U.S. Military Liaison Mission to Soviet Forces in Germany. In 1970, he was commanding officer of an Air Force academy group on assignment to the French Air Force Academy.

He was assistant air attache in Moscow from 1973 to 1975, and his performance in that post led to his induction in the Defense Attache Hall of Fame. He was a member of the U.S. delegation to the Mutual and Balanced Force Negotiations in Vienna from 1977 to 1979.

Mr. Kolt also taught international politics at the Air Force Academy and the National War College. From 1981 to 1984, he was detailed to the National Intelligence Council as deputy national intelligence officer for the Soviet Union and rose to be national intelligence officer for Europe.

He retired from the Air Force in 1986 to join the CIA as director of the Office of European Analysis in the Directorate of Intelligence. In 1989, he became director of the Office of Soviet Analysis; he headed that office during the turbulent years of the Soviet Union's collapse.

From 1992 to 2003, he served as National Intelligence Officer for Russia and Eurasia. He retired from the CIA last year.

Colonel Kolt was born in Brussels. He graduated from Rutgers University in 1961 and received a master's degree in political science from the University of Washington in 1963. He attended the Free University of Berlin, the Armed Forces Staff College and National War College.

He lived in Washington for 26 years and was a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

His awards include the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal, the Distinguished Career Intelligence Medal and the Defense Meritorious Service Medal.

Survivors include his wife of 22 years, Deborah Kolt of Washington; a son, Alexander Kolt of Arlington; and a sister.

Colonel Kolt was laid to rest with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery on 23 September 2005.

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