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Foreign policy expert and contentious diplomat Henry Kissinger passes away at age 100.

At the age of 100, Henry Kissinger, one of the nation’s most significant foreign policy intellectuals for over 50 years, passed away.

As per a statement released by his consulting business, Kissinger Associates, Inc., he passed away on Wednesday at his Connecticut residence. It was not stated what caused the death.

As Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford’s national security advisor and secretary of state, Henry Kissinger was instrumental in creating the framework that allowed for more controlled ties with the Soviet Union, China, and the major Arab countries. In addition, he actively supported heavy bombing campaigns in Southeast Asia and frequently turned a blind eye to governments that were thought to be in line with US interests when it came to violating human rights. These actions were closely linked to some of the most divisive U.S. foreign policy decisions in recent decades.

Even though Kissinger never again worked directly for an American president after Ford stepped down, his contributions were significant. His influence on U.S. superpower relations endures today, and to the end of his life, he was a highly sought-after commentator on world events.

Richard Haass, president emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations, described Kissinger as “the leading scholar-practitioner of the post-World War II era.” “There were other great secretary of state and a long list of impressive historical scholars, but no one who combined the two interests as Kissinger did.”

After fleeing Nazi Germany as a teenager, Kissinger never lost his strong German accent, and his tough baritone voice and remarks on foreign policy issues catapulted him into international prominence.

David Rothkopf was a managing director at Kissinger’s consulting company for a while.  “Everybody, regardles”I was walking down the street in Broadway with him, and he would attract a crowd like a film star, a rock star,” Rothkopf recalled. s of what they thought of Henry, wanted to see Henry, wanted to be with Henry.”

Kissinger, an international celebrity and former ambassador, was praised everywhere, even in Germany, where he and his family had left in 1938.

Hitler had been in power for five years at that point, and the Kissingers had been persecuted by the Nazis just like any other Jewish family. When Kissinger was growing up in Germany, he used to cross the street anytime he heard a gang of lads approaching since he knew he would probably get beat up. Kissinger said this to an interviewer.

Before being recruited into the U.S. Army, the young Kissinger attended night classes and worked at a factory in America.

Pvt. Kissinger was one of the American soldiers who, after being sent to Germany, freed hungry Jewish detainees from an Ahlem detention camp. Sixty years later, during a documentary film showing on Ahlem with a large number of camp survivors in attendance, he ran across several of them again.

In an unusually emotional statement, Kissinger declared, “There’s nothing I’m more proud of than becoming one of those who had the task of liberating the Ahlem concentration camp.”

Kissinger informed the Ahlem survivors that the people who attended the event mattered more to him than anybody else, pointing out how frequently he talked to different groups.

In that remark, Kissinger rejected the idea that his youth years in Nazi Germany had left him scarred.

He shot back, “That’s nonsense. They weren’t killing people yet.” A painful experience was meeting Ahlem. I have never experienced an event as frightening as that one.”

Kissinger became a proponent of peace through strength as a result of his time serving in the American military in Germany.

He attended Harvard after leaving the service. He called his 300-page undergrad thesis “The Meaning of History.” As he continued to teach at Harvard, his hawkish opinions gained him notoriety.

Richard Nixon became aware of Kissinger’s work and appointed him as his national security adviser. He oversaw one of the riskiest phases in American diplomacy throughout the next years. Kissinger set up Nixon’s landmark visit to China in 1971.

Strategically speaking, Nixon and Kissinger viewed China’s openness as a means of taking on China’s communist adversary, the Soviet Union. Prior to the trip, no American president had ventured to approach “Red China,” as it was then known. Following the visit, no American official ventured to doubt the decision’s soundness.

Kissinger believed that if there were significant topics to discuss, it made sense to meet with despicable tyrants. During a 2012 Harvard talk, he discussed his interactions with the infamous but assassinated leader of Communist China, Mao Tse Tung.

Kissinger said, “Chairman Mao caused unspeakable suffering.” It is an undeniable truth. However, it is also true that he was a highly influential foreign policy strategist.”

Kissinger met with Soviet authorities in Moscow at the same time as the opening to China. The threat of a nuclear exchange had hovered over the two nations for more than 40 years. Kissinger’s diplomacy helped diffuse the deadly and ongoing tensions between Washington and Moscow and brought in a new era of détente, dialogue, and weapons control agreements.

The limits of Kissinger’s talents were shown in Vietnam, after all. Nixon dispatched Kissinger to Paris in order to engage in peace talks. Following intermittent discussions with Le Duc Tho, his counterpart from North Vietnam for three and a half years, Kissinger abruptly declared in October 1972 that he would live with regrets.

“We believe that peace is at hand,” he stated. “We believe that an agreement is in sight.”

Although Kissinger and Le Duc Tho’s agreement did not put an end to the war, they were awarded the 1973 Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts.

Kissinger had more influence than any other foreign policy advisor to a U.S. president, both before and after. He conversed with Nixon up to twelve times per day. Kissinger believed Nixon to be an insecure man, and recordings of their phone calls at the White House demonstrate how he catered to Nixon’s emotional requirements.

“Mr. President, that was the best speech you’ve given since you’ve been in office,” Kissinger informed Nixon after the latter’s speech on the Vietnam War in April 1971. Kissinger persisted in his argument after Nixon backed down. “It was a powerful speech,,” he maintained, “really movingly delivered.”

Kissinger was a frequent traveler who discussed war and peace issues with world leaders face-to-face. His frantic efforts to find a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian issue gave origin to the phrase “shuttle diplomacy.”

Despite his lack of movie star appearance, Kissinger was intelligent and witty, and as a divorced man, he dated beautiful women, which made him vulnerable to Nixon’s taunts.

“Henry? “Where have you gone?” In one phone call, Nixon chastised him. “Just let me say that quickly as you take care of the ladies, if you could work it into your timetable, I want you to get back here to the White House.”

Before long, Nixon was consumed by political issues and entangled in the Watergate affair. He effectively delegated foreign policy decision-making to Kissinger.

Rothkopf, a Kissinger staffer and subsequently the author of a book on national security aides, claimed, “That worked for Nixon.” “Because Nixon preferred to spend less time interacting with individuals. He had some paranoia. Kissinger thereafter assumed the role of deputy president for international policy during the crisis years.”



Nixon retained Kissinger as his national security adviser but appointed him as secretary of state in 1973. Kissinger continued to serve as secretary of state but not as national security advisor when Gerald Ford became office following Nixon’s resignation in 1974.

Kissinger had actually already left his imprint. He was more closely identified with the tough foreign policy stance he promoted than with the presidents he worked for. Indeed, several conservatives within his own Republican Party later attacked him for having pushed for détente with Moscow.

Kissinger’s tenet was that the interests of the United States should come before loftier goals, such as advancing democracy and human rights.

In a 2007 interview, Kissinger said, “I used to say to my colleagues we’re a country, not a foundation.” For America’s benefit, we must manage foreign policy.”

Kissinger steadfastly supported bombing operations in Vietnam and Cambodia in order to bolster American bargaining power. Because those countries were partners of the United States, he felt at ease with the United States endorsing the “dirty war” in Argentina and Indonesia’s invasion of East Timor. Similarly, the United States may applaud an overthrow of Chile’s elected socialist president, Salvador Allende.

Detractors of Kissinger said that he was guilty of war crimes since he identified with certain policy choices. Allegations were certain to arise in public gatherings, such as his Harvard visit in 2012.

A member of the crowd brought up the deaths of East Timorese and the dozens of Chileans who died in the Chilean coup, asking, “How do you justify receiving the Nobel Peace Prize when you were the architect, with Richard Nixon, of killing four million southeast Asians during the Vietnam War?”

“Do you deny these war crimes?” said the man. “essentially, how do you sleep with yourselves at night?”

Such inquiries were nothing new to Kissinger, who frequently urged his detractors to look at “the big picture.”

Kissinger responded to the Harvard questioner, “Just study who did what, not people who live off proving their country is evil and their leaders are criminals.” “Assume that the persons in charge were sensible individuals. What decisions were made as a result of what?”

He issued a summons to his critic to peruse the national security-related meeting minutes.

Despite having firsthand experience with criminal dictators during his time in Nazi Germany, Kissinger continued to interact with other countries who put their opponents to death. It’s possible that Kissinger found it simpler to remain objective when making difficult policy decisions because of his personal experiences.

His former aide David Rothkopf believes that much of Kissinger’s worldview came from his early life in Germany and his time spent serving in the U.S. Army as a young man.

Rothkopf remarked, “Those are the formative years.” “I think to understand Kissinger, you must comprehend a man who escaped the Holocaust, a man who went back to fight in this big grand war, a boy who saw the United States as the champion against an almost absolute evil.”

Assuming that the United States was on the side of righteousness, Rothkopf speculates that Kissinger could have been more inclined to defend dubious American acts abroad.

“That helps to explain, if not to absolutely forgive, some of the things that happened later,” Rothkopf stated.

Haass, a former head of policy planning at the U.S. State Department under President George W. Bush, described Kissinger’s foreign policy philosophy as being “squarely in the realist tradition.” “Buttressing world order… and shaping the foreign policies of great powers more than their internal political or business conduct,” Kissinger emphasized in this regard, according to Haass.

Until the end of his life, Kissinger continued to be involved in the world stage, delivering speeches, conducting interviews, and publishing books on foreign policy.

It was Donald Trump’s “America First” arrogance that first wowed him. In a post-election interview with CBS’s Face the Nation, Kissinger hinted that “something remarkable” may come out of a Trump administration.


“I’m not saying it will,” stated Kissinger. “I’m saying it’s an extraordinary opportunity.”

But almost four years later, Kissinger expressed concern in an interview with the Council on Foreign Relations that U.S. influence on world affairs would decline if the Trump administration persisted in pulling out of international involvement and global alliances.

“Over a period of time in which history is judged,” he stated, “we will be isolated and become, to some extent, irrelevant.”

That was practically unimaginable for a diplomat who always considered America to be the leading actor in the global power struggle.

Elizabeth and David, his two children from his previous marriage, and his wife Nancy Maginnes Kissinger are the only survivors of Kissinger.


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