Arnold L. Kanter, a national security and arms control specialist who became a top State Department official and adviser to the defense and intelligence communities, died Saturday at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. The cause was acute myeloid leukemia. He was 65.

Since 1994, Kanter had been affiliated with the Scowcroft Group, an international investment advisory firm.

The consultancy was started by former national security adviser Brent Scowcroft, for whom Kanter had served from 1989 to 1991 as chief arms control specialist on the National Security Council. Kanter was undersecretary of state for political affairs from 1991 to 1993 and had responsibility for running the daily operations of U.S. foreign policy.

Scowcroft said Kanter's greatest talent was transforming grand-scale policy ideas into concepts that a bureaucracy could implement. Over the years, Kanter was a major participant in shaping the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty and other arms negotiations.

Kanter spent his early career as a political scientist and worked for the State Department on and off, initially in politico-military affairs. In the early 1980s, he worked on arms issues and European policies as an aide to Lawrence Eagleburger, then-undersecretary for political affairs. Before joining the National Security Council, Kanter directed the national security strategies program at the Rand Corp., a Santa Monica, Calif.-based think tank that often advised the government.

In a statement, CIA Director Leon Panetta called Kanter "one of America's brightest minds on intelligence and foreign policy."

Arnold Lee Kanter was born Feb. 27, 1945, in Chicago. He was a 1966 political science graduate of the University of Michigan. At Yale University, he received a master's degree and a doctorate in political science.

Survivors include his wife of 40 years, Anne Strassman Kanter of McLean, Va.; two children, Clare Kanter of New York City and Noah Kanter of Washington; and a brother. A son, Benjamin, died in infancy in 1973.

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