Henry Alfred Kissinger (; ; born Heinz Alfred Kissinger; May 27, 1923) is an American
politician A politician is a person active in party politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions in groups, or other forms of power relations between individuals, such as the distribution of resourc ...
, diplomat, and
geopolitical Geopolitics (from Greek γῆ ''gê'' "earth, land" and πολιτική ''politikḗ'' "politics") is the study of the effects of Earth's geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of s ...
consultant who served as
United States Secretary of State The United States secretary of state implements foreign policy for the U.S. government as the head of the U.S. Department of State. Created in 1789, the Cabinet position is analogous to a foreign minister A foreign affairs minister or min ...
and National Security Advisor under the presidential administrations of
Richard Nixon Richard Milhous Nixon (January 9, 1913April 22, 1994) was the 37th president of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. A member of the Republican Party, Nixon previously served as the 36th vice president from 1953 to 1961, having ...

Richard Nixon
Gerald Ford
Gerald Ford
. A Jewish refugee who fled
Nazi Germany Nazi Germany, (lit. "National Socialist State"), ' (lit. "Nazi State") for short; also ' (lit. "National Socialist Germany") officially known as the German Reich. until 1943 and Greater German Reich. from 1943 to 1945, was the German Reich ...

Nazi Germany
with his family in 1938, he became National Security Advisor in 1969 and U.S. Secretary of State in 1973. For his actions negotiating a ceasefire in
Vietnam , image_map = , map_caption = , capital = Hanoi , coordinates = , largest_city = Ho Chi Minh City , languages_type = National language , languages ...
, Kissinger received the 1973 Nobel Peace Prize under controversial circumstances, with two members of the committee resigning in protest. A practitioner of '' Realpolitik'', Kissinger played a prominent role in United States foreign policy between 1969 and 1977. During this period, he pioneered the policy of '' détente'' with the
Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a Federalism, federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a Political union, union of multiple national Republics of t ...
, orchestrated the opening of relations with
China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, world's most populous country, with a population of around 1.4 billion. Covering approximately 9.6& ...
, engaged in what became known as shuttle diplomacy in the Middle East to end the Yom Kippur War, and negotiated the Paris Peace Accords, ending American involvement in the Vietnam War. Kissinger has also been associated with such controversial policies as U.S. involvement in the 1973 Chilean coup d'état, 1973 Chilean military coup, Henry Kissinger#Argentina, a "green light" to Argentina's military junta for their Dirty War, and U.S. support for Pakistan during the Bangladesh Liberation War, Bangladesh War despite the 1971 Bangladesh genocide, genocide being perpetrated by his allies. After leaving government, he formed Kissinger Associates, an international geopolitical consulting firm. Kissinger has written over a dozen books on diplomatic history and international relations. Kissinger remains a controversial and polarizing figure in U.S. politics, both condemned as an alleged War crime, war criminal by many journalists, political activists, and human rights lawyers, and venerated as a highly effective U.S. Secretary of State by many prominent international relations scholars. With the death of centenarian George Shultz in February 2021, Kissinger is the oldest living former U.S. Cabinet member and the last surviving member of Nixon's Cabinet.

Early life and education

Kissinger was born Heinz Alfred Kissinger in Fürth, Bavaria, Germany in 1923 to a Jews in Germany, German Jewish family. His father Louis Kissinger (1887–1982) was a schoolteacher. His mother Paula (Stern) Kissinger (1901–1998), from Leutershausen, was a homemaker. His brother, Walter Kissinger, was born in 1924. The surname Kissinger was adopted in 1817 by his great-great-grandfather Meyer Löb, after the Bavarian spa town of Bad Kissingen. In his youth, Kissinger enjoyed playing Association football, soccer. He played for the youth wing of SpVgg Greuther Fürth, SpVgg Fürth, which was one of the nation's best clubs at the time. In 1938, when Kissinger was 15 years old, he and his family fled Nazi Germany, Germany as a result of Nazism, Nazi persecution. During Nazi rule Kissinger and his friends were regularly harassed and beaten by Hitler Youth gangs. Kissinger sometimes defied the Racial segregation, segregation imposed by Racial policy of Nazi Germany, Nazi racial laws by sneaking into Soccer-specific stadium, soccer stadiums to watch matches, often resulting in beatings from security guards. As a result of the Nazis' anti-Semitic laws Kissinger was unable to gain admittance to the Gymnasium (Germany), ''Gymnasium'', while his father was dismissed from his teaching job. The family briefly emigrated to London before arriving in New York City on September 5. Kissinger later downplayed the influence his experiences of Nazi persecution had on his policies, writing "Germany of my youth had a great deal of order and very little justice; it was not the sort of place likely to inspire devotion to order in the abstract." However many scholars, including Kissinger's biographer Walter Isaacson, have disagreed and argued that his experiences influenced the formation of his realist approach to foreign policy. Kissinger spent his high school years in the Washington Heights, Manhattan, Washington Heights section of Upper Manhattan as part of the German Jewish immigrant community that resided there at the time. Although Kissinger assimilated quickly into American culture, he never lost his pronounced East Franconian German, German accent, due to childhood shyness that made him hesitant to speak. After his first year at George Washington High School (New York City), George Washington High School, he began attending school at night and worked in a shave brush, shaving brush factory during the day. Following high school, Kissinger enrolled in the City College of New York, studying accounting. He excelled academically as a part-time student, continuing to work while enrolled. His studies were interrupted in early 1943, when he was drafted into the United States Army, US Army.

Army experience

Kissinger underwent basic training at Camp Croft in Spartanburg, South Carolina. On June 19, 1943, while stationed in South Carolina, at the age of 20 years, he became a Naturalization, naturalized U.S. citizen. The United States Army, army sent him to study engineering at Lafayette College, Pennsylvania, but the program was canceled, and Kissinger was reassigned to the 84th Division (United States), 84th Infantry Division. There, he made the acquaintance of Fritz G. A. Kraemer, Fritz Kraemer, a fellow immigrant from Germany who noted Kissinger's fluency in German and his intellect, and arranged for him to be assigned to the military intelligence section of the division. Kissinger saw combat with the division, and volunteered for hazardous intelligence duties during the Battle of the Bulge. During the American advance into Germany, Kissinger, only a Private (rank)#United States Army, private, was put in charge of the administration of the city of Krefeld, owing to a lack of German speakers on the division's intelligence staff. Within eight days he had established a civilian administration. Kissinger was then reassigned to the Counter Intelligence Corps (CIC), where he became a United States Army Counterintelligence, CIC Special Agent holding the enlisted rank of sergeant. He was given charge of a team in Hanover assigned to tracking down Gestapo officers and other saboteurs, for which he was awarded the Bronze Star. In June 1945, Kissinger was made commandant of the Bensheim metro CIC detachment, Bergstrasse (district), Bergstrasse district of Hesse, with responsibility for de-Nazification of the district. Although he possessed absolute authority and powers of arrest, Kissinger took care to avoid abuses against the local population by his command. In 1946, Kissinger was reassigned to teach at the European Command Intelligence School at Camp King and, as a civilian employee following his separation from the army, continued to serve in this role.

Academic career

Henry Kissinger received his Bachelor of Arts, AB degree ''summa cum laude'', Phi Beta Kappa in political science from Harvard College in 1950, where he lived in Adams House (Harvard University), Adams House and studied under William Yandell Elliott. His senior undergraduate thesis, titled ''The Meaning of History: Reflections on Spengler, Toynbee and Kant'', was over 400 pages long, and was the origin of the current limit on length (35,000 words). He received his MA and PhD degrees at Harvard University in 1951 and 1954, respectively. In 1952, while still a graduate student at Harvard, he served as a consultant to the director of the Psychological Strategy Board. His doctoral dissertation was titled ''Peace, Legitimacy, and the Equilibrium (A Study of the Statesmanship of Robert Stewart, Viscount Castlereagh, Castlereagh and Klemens von Metternich, Metternich)''. In his PhD dissertation, Kissinger first introduced the concept of "legitimacy", which he defined as: "Legitimacy as used here should not be confused with justice. It means no more than an international agreement about the nature of workable arrangements and about the permissible aims and methods of foreign policy". An international order accepted by all of the major powers is "legitimate" whereas an international order not accepted by one or more of the great powers is "revolutionary" and hence dangerous. Thus, when after the Congress of Vienna in 1815, the leaders of United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Britain, Bourbon Restoration in France, France, Austrian Empire, Austria, Kingdom of Prussia, Prussia, and Russian Empire, Russia agreed to co-operate in the Concert of Europe to preserve the peace, in Kissinger's viewpoint this international system was "legitimate" because it was accepted by the leaders of all five of the Great Powers of Europe. Notably, Kissinger's ''primat der aussenpolitik'' approach to diplomacy took it for granted that as long as the decision-makers in the major states were willing to accept the international order, then it is "legitimate" with questions of public opinion and morality dismissed as irrelevant. Kissinger remained at Harvard as a member of the faculty in the Department of Government where he served as the director of the Harvard International Seminar between 1951 and 1971. In 1955, he was a consultant to the United States National Security Council, National Security Council's Operations Coordinating Board. During 1955 and 1956, he was also study director in nuclear weapons and foreign policy at the Council on Foreign Relations. He released his book ''Nuclear Weapons and Foreign Policy'' the following year. The book, which criticized the Eisenhower Administration's "massive retaliation" nuclear doctrine, caused much controversy at the time by proposing the use of tactical nuclear weapons on a regular basis to win wars. From 1956 to 1958 he worked for the Rockefeller Brothers Fund as director of its Special Studies Project. He served as the director of the Harvard Defense Studies Program between 1958 and 1971. In 1958, he also co-founded the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Center for International Affairs with Robert R. Bowie where he served as its associate director. Outside of academia, he served as a consultant to several government agencies and think tanks, including the Operations Research Office, the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, United States Department of State, Department of State, and the RAND Corporation. Keen to have a greater influence on U.S. foreign policy, Kissinger became foreign policy advisor to the presidential campaigns of Nelson Rockefeller, supporting his bids for the US Republican Party, Republican nomination in 1960, 1964, and 1968. Kissinger first met
Richard Nixon Richard Milhous Nixon (January 9, 1913April 22, 1994) was the 37th president of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. A member of the Republican Party, Nixon previously served as the 36th vice president from 1953 to 1961, having ...

Richard Nixon
at a party hosted by Clare Booth Luce in 1967, saying that he found him more "thoughtful" than he expected. During the Republican primaries in 1968, Kissinger again served as the foreign policy adviser to Rockefeller and in July 1968 called Nixon "the most dangerous of all the men running to have as president". Initially upset when Nixon won the Republican nomination, the ambitious Kissinger soon changed his mind about Nixon and contacted a Nixon campaign aide, Richard Allen, to state he was willing to do anything to help Nixon win. After Nixon became president in January 1969, Kissinger was appointed as National Security Advisor.

Foreign policy

Kissinger served as United States National Security Advisor, National Security Advisor and United States Secretary of State, Secretary of State under President
Richard Nixon Richard Milhous Nixon (January 9, 1913April 22, 1994) was the 37th president of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. A member of the Republican Party, Nixon previously served as the 36th vice president from 1953 to 1961, having ...

Richard Nixon
, and continued as Secretary of State under Nixon's successor . With the death of George Shultz in February 2021, Kissinger is the last surviving member of the Nixon administration Cabinet. The relationship between Nixon and Kissinger was unusually close, and has been compared to the relationships of Woodrow Wilson and Edward M. House, Colonel House, or Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry Hopkins. In all three cases, the State Department was relegated to a backseat role in developing foreign policy. Kissinger and Nixon shared a penchant for secrecy and conducted numerous "backchannel" negotiations, such as that through the Soviet Ambassador to the United States, Anatoly Dobrynin, that excluded State Department experts. Historian David Rothkopf has looked at the personalities of Nixon and Kissinger: :They were a fascinating pair. In a way, they complemented each other perfectly. Kissinger was the charming and worldly Mr. Outside who provided the grace and intellectual-establishment respectability that Nixon lacked, disdained and aspired to. Kissinger was an international citizen. Nixon very much a classic American. Kissinger had a worldview and a facility for adjusting it to meet the times, Nixon had pragmatism and a strategic vision that provided the foundations for their policies. Kissinger would, of course, say that he was not political like Nixon—but in fact he was just as political as Nixon, just as calculating, just as relentlessly ambitious....these self-made men were driven as much by their need for approval and their neuroses as by their strengths. A proponent of '' Realpolitik'', Kissinger played a dominant role in United States foreign policy between 1969 and 1977. In that period, he extended the policy of '' détente''. This policy led to a significant relaxation in US–Soviet tensions and played a crucial role in 1971 talks with Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai. The talks concluded with a rapprochement between the United States and China, and the formation of a new strategic anti-Soviet Sino-American alignment. He was jointly awarded the 1973 Nobel Peace Prize with Lê Đức Thọ for helping to establish a ceasefire and U.S. withdrawal from Vietnam. The ceasefire, however, was not durable. Thọ declined to accept the award and Kissinger appeared deeply ambivalent about it - he donated his prize money to charity, did not attend the award ceremony, and later offered to return his prize medal.Nobel Peace Prize#cite note-:0-40, [40] As National Security Advisor, in 1974 Kissinger directed the much-debated National Security Study Memorandum 200.

''Détente'' and the opening to China

Kissinger initially had little interest in China when began his work as National Security Adviser in 1969, and the driving force being the rapprochement with China was Nixon. When Chiang Ching-kuo arrived in Washington in April 1970 for a visit, both Nixon and Kissinger promised him that they would never abandon Taiwan or make any compromises with Mao Zedong, although Nixon did speak vaguely of his wish to improve relations with the People's Republic. Kissinger made two trips to China in July and October 1971 (the first of which was made in secret) to confer with Premier Zhou Enlai, then in charge of Foreign relations of China, Chinese foreign policy. During his visit to Beijing, the main issue turned out to be Taiwan, as Zhou demanded the United States recognize that Taiwan was a legitimate part of China, pull United States Taiwan Defense Command, U.S. forces out of Taiwan, and end military support for the Kuomintang regime. Kissinger gave way by promising to pull U.S. forces out of Taiwan, saying two-thirds would be pulled out when the Vietnam war ended and the rest to be pulled out as China–United States relations, Sino-American relations improved. In October 1971, as Kissinger was making his second trip to the People's Republic, the issue of which Chinese government deserved to be represented in the United Nations came up again.} Out of concern to not be seen abandoning an ally, the United States tried to promote a compromise under which both Chinese regimes would be UN members, although Kissinger called it "an essentially doomed rearguard action". While American ambassador to the UN George H. W. Bush was lobbying for the "two Chinas" formula, Kissinger was removing favorable references to Taiwan from a speech that Rogers was preparing, as he expected China to be expelled from the UN. During his second visit to Beijing, Kissinger told Zhou that according to a public opinion poll 62% of Americans wanted Taiwan to remain a UN member, and asked him to consider the "two Chinas" compromise to avoid offending American public opinion. Zhou responded with his claim that the People's Republic was the legitimate government of all China and no compromise was possible with the Taiwan issue. Kissinger said that the United States could not totally sever ties with Chiang, who had been an ally in World War II. Kissinger told Nixon that Bush was "too soft and not sophisticated" enough to properly represent the United States at the UN, and expressed no anger when the UN General Assembly voted to expel Taiwan and give China's seat on the UN Security Council to the People's Republic. His trips paved the way for the groundbreaking Nixon visit to China 1972, 1972 summit between Nixon, Zhou, and Communist Party of China Chairman Mao Zedong, as well as the Sino-American relations, formalization of relations between the two countries, ending 23 years of diplomatic isolation and mutual hostility. The result was the formation of a tacit strategic anti-Soviet alliance between China and the United States. Kissinger's diplomacy led to economic and cultural exchanges between the two sides and the establishment of De facto embassy#China and the United States, "liaison offices" in the Chinese and American capitals, though full normalization of relations with China would not occur until 1979.

Vietnam War

Kissinger's involvement in Indochina started prior to his appointment as National Security Adviser to Nixon. While still at Harvard, he had worked as a consultant on foreign policy to both the White House and State Department. In a 1967 peace initiative, he would mediate between Washington and Hanoi. When he came into office in 1969, Kissinger favored a negotiating strategy under which the United States and North Vietnam would sign an armistice and agreed to pull their troops out of South Vietnam while the South Vietnamese government and the Viet Cong were to agree to a coalition government. Kissinger had doubts about Nixon's theory of "Linkage (policy), linkage", believing that this would give the Soviet Union leverage over the United States and unlike Nixon was less concerned about the ultimate fate of South Vietnam. Though Kissinger did not regard South Vietnam as important in its own right, he believed it was necessary to support South Vietnam to maintain the United States as a global power, believing that none of America's allies would trust the United States if South Vietnam were abandoned too quickly. In early 1969, Kissinger was opposed to the plans for Operation Menu, the bombing of Cambodia, fearing that Nixon was acting rashly with no plans for the diplomatic fall-out, but on March 16, 1969 Nixon announced the bombing would start the next day. As he saw the president was committed, he became more and more supportive. Kissinger would play a key role in Operation Menu, bombing Cambodia to disrupt raids into South Vietnam from Cambodia, as well as the 1970 Cambodian Incursion and subsequent widespread bombing of Khmer Rouge targets in Cambodia. The Paris peace talks had become stalemated by late 1969 owing to the obstructionism of the South Vietnamese delegation. The South Vietnamese President Nguyễn Văn Thiệu did not want the United States to withdraw from Vietnam, and out of frustration with him, Kissinger decided to begin secret peace talks with Tho in Paris parallel to the official talks that the South Vietnamese were unaware of. In June 1971, Kissinger supported Nixon's effort to ban the Pentagon Papers saying the "hemorrhage of state secrets" to the media was making diplomacy impossible. On August 1, 1972, Kissinger met Tho again in Paris, and for first time, he seemed willing to compromise, saying that political and military terms of an armistice could be treated separately and hinted that his government was no longer willing to make the overthrow of Thiệu a precondition. On the evening of October 8, 1972 at a secret meeting of Kissinger and Tho in Paris came the decisive breakthrough in the talks. Tho began with "a very realistic and very simple proposal" for a ceasefire that would see the Americans pull all their forces out of Vietnam in exchange for the release of all the POWs in North Vietnam. Kissinger accepted Tho's offer as the best deal possible, saying that the "mutual withdrawal formula" had to be abandoned as it been "unobtainable through ten years of war...We could not make it a condition for a final settlement. We had long passed that threshold". In the fall of 1972, both Kissinger and Nixon were frustrated with Thiệu's refusal to accept any sort of peace deal calling for withdrawal of American forces. On October 21 Kissinger and the American ambassador Ellsworth Bunker arrived in Saigon to show Thiệu the peace agreement. Thiệu refused to sign the peace agreement and demanded very extensive amendments that Kissinger reported to Nixon "verge on insanity". Though Nixon had initially supported Kissinger against Thiệu, H.R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman urged him to reconsider, arguing that Thiệu's objections had merit. Nixon wanted 69 amendments to the draft peace agreement included in the final treaty, and ordered Kissinger back to Paris to force Tho to accept them. Kissinger regarded Nixon's 69 amendments as "preposterous" as he knew Tho would never accept them. As expected, Tho refused to consider any of the 69 amendments, and on December 13, 1972 left Paris for Hanoi. Kissinger by this stage was worked up into a state of fury after Tho walked out of the Paris talks and told Nixon: "They're just a bunch of shits. Tawdry, filthy shits". On January 8, 1973, Kissinger and Tho met again in Paris and the next day reached an agreement, which in main points was essentially the same as the one Nixon had rejected in October with only cosmetic concessions to the Americans. Thiệu once again rejected the peace agreement, only to receive an ultimatum from Nixon which caused Thiệu to reluctantly accept the peace agreement. On January 27, 1973, Kissinger and Tho signed a peace agreement that called for the complete withdrawal of all U.S forces from Vietnam by March in exchange for North Vietnam freeing all the U.S POWs. Along with Le Duc Tho, Kissinger was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on December 10, 1973, for their work in negotiating the ceasefires contained in the Paris Peace Accords on "Ending the War and Restoring Peace in Vietnam", signed the previous January. According to Irwin Abrams, this prize was the most controversial to date. For the first time in the history of the Peace Prize, two members left the Nobel Committee in protest. Tho rejected the award, telling Kissinger that peace had not been restored in South Vietnam. Kissinger wrote to the Nobel Committee that he accepted the award "with humility," and "donated the entire proceeds to the children of American servicemembers killed or missing in action in Indochina." After the Fall of Saigon in 1975, Kissinger attempted to return the award. By the summer of 1974, the U.S. embassy reported that morale in the Army of the Republic of Vietnam, ARVN had fallen to dangerously low levels and it was uncertain how much longer South Vietnam would last. In August 1974, Congress passed a bill limiting American aid to South Vietnam to $700 million annually. By November 1974, Kissinger lobbied Brezhnev to end Soviet military aid to North Vietnam. The same month, he also lobbied Mao and Zhou to end Chinese military aid to North Vietnam. On April 15, 1975, Kissinger testified before the United States Senate Committee on Appropriations, Senate Appropriations Committee, urging Congress to increase the military aid budget to South Vietnam by another $700 million to save the ARVN as the People's Army of Vietnam, PAVN was rapidly advancing on Saigon, which was refused. Kissinger maintained at the time, and still maintains, that if only Congress had approved of his request for another $700 million South Vietnam would have been saved.

Bangladesh Liberation War

Nixon supported Pakistan's strongman, General Yahya Khan, in the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971. Kissinger sneered at people who "bleed" for "the dying Bengalis" and ignored the first telegram from the United States consul general in East Pakistan, Archer Blood, Archer K. Blood, and 20 members of his staff, which informed the US that their allies West Pakistan were undertaking, in Blood's words, "a selective genocide" targeting the Bengali intelligentsia, supporters of independence for East Pakistan, and the Hindu minority. In the second, more famous, Blood telegram#The Blood telegram, Blood Telegram the word genocide was again used to describe the events, and further that with its continuing support for West Pakistan the US government had "evidenced [...] moral bankruptcy". As a direct response to the dissent against US policy Kissinger and Nixon ended Archer Blood's tenure as United States consul general in East Pakistan and put him to work in the State Department's Personnel Office. Christopher Clary argues that Nixon and Kissinger were unconsciously biased, leading them to overestimate the likelihood of Pakistani victory against Bengali rebels. Kissinger was particularly concerned about the expansion of Soviet influence in the Indian Subcontinent as a result of a treaty of friendship recently signed by India and the USSR, and sought to demonstrate to the People's Republic of
China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, world's most populous country, with a population of around 1.4 billion. Covering approximately 9.6& ...
(Pakistan's ally and an enemy of both India and the USSR) the value of a tacit alliance with the United States. Kissinger had also come under fire for private comments he made to Nixon during the Bangladesh–Pakistan War in which he described Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi as a "Bitch (insult), bitch" and a "witch". He also said "The Indians are bastards", shortly before the war. Kissinger has since expressed his regret over the comments.


As National Security Adviser under Nixon, Kissinger pioneered the policy of '' détente'' with the
Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a Federalism, federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a Political union, union of multiple national Republics of t ...
, seeking a relaxation in tensions between the two superpowers. As a part of this strategy, he negotiated the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (culminating in the SALT I treaty) and the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty with Leonid Brezhnev, General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Soviet Communist Party. Negotiations about strategic disarmament were originally supposed to start under the Johnson Administration but were postponed in protest upon the Prague Spring, invasion by Warsaw Pact troops of Czechoslovakia in August 1968. Nixon felt his administration had neglected relations with the Western European states in his first term and in September 1972 decided that if he was reelected that 1973 would be the "Year of Europe" as the United States would focus on relations with the states of the European Economic Community (EEC) which had emerged as a serious economic rival by 1970. Applying his favorite "linkage" concept, Nixon intended henceforward economic relations with Europe would not be severed from security relations, and if the EEC states wanted changes in American tariff and monetary policies, the price would be defense spending on their part. Kissinger in particular as part of the "Year of Europe" wanted to "revitalize" NATO, which he called a "decaying" alliance as he believed that there was nothing at present to stop the Red Army from overrunning Western Europe in a conventional forces conflict. The "linkage" concept more applied to the question of security as Kissinger noted that the United States was going to sacrifice NATO for the sake of "Citrus, citrus fruits".

Israeli policy and Soviet Jewry

According to notes taken by H.R. Haldeman, Nixon "ordered his aides to exclude all American Jews, Jewish-Americans from policy-making on Israel", including Kissinger.Jonathan Chait, Chait, Jonathan (December 10, 2010
Nixon Disallowed Jewish Advisors From Discussing Israel Policy
''The New Republic''
One note quotes Nixon as saying "get K. [Kissinger] out of the play—Alexander Haig, Haig handle it". In 1973, Kissinger did not feel that pressing the Soviet Union concerning the plight of Antisemitism in the Soviet Union, Jews being persecuted there was in the interest of U.S. foreign policy. In conversation with Nixon shortly after a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir on March 1, 1973, Kissinger stated, "The emigration of Jews from the Soviet Union is not an objective of American foreign policy, and if they put Jews into gas chambers in the Soviet Union, it is not an American concern. Maybe a humanitarian concern."

The Arab-Israeli dispute

In September 1973, Nixon fired Rogers as Secretary of State and replaced him with Kissinger. He would later state he had not been given enough time to know the Middle East as he settled into the State Department. Kissinger later admitted that he was so engrossed with the Paris peace talks to end the Vietnam war that he and others in Washington missed the significance of the Egypt–Saudi Arabia relations, Egyptian-Saudi alliance. Sadat expected as a reward that the United States would respond by pressuring Israel to return the Sinai to Egypt, but after receiving no response from the United States, by November 1972 Sadat moved again closer to the Soviet Union, buying a massive amount of Soviet arms for a war he planned to launch against Israel in 1973. Kissinger delayed telling President Richard Nixon about the start of the Yom Kippur War in 1973 to keep him from interfering. On October 6, 1973, the Israelis informed Kissinger about the attack at 6 am; Kissinger waited nearly 3 and a half hours before he informed Nixon. According to Kissinger, he was notified at 6:30 a.m. (12:30 pm. Israel time) that war was imminent, and his urgent calls to the Soviets and Egyptians were ineffective. On October 12, under Nixon's direction, and against Kissinger's initial advice, while Kissinger was on his way to Moscow to discuss conditions for a cease-fire, Nixon sent a message to Brezhnev giving Kissinger full negotiating authority. Kissinger wanted to stall a ceasefire to gain more time for Israel to push across the Suez Canal to the Africa, African side, and wanted to be perceived as a mere presidential emissary who needed to consult the White House all the time as a stalling tactic. Kissinger promised the Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir that the United States would replace its losses in equipment after the war, but sought initially to delay arm shipments to Israel, as he believed it would improve the odds of making peace along the lines of United Nations Security Council Resolution 242. In 1973, Meir requested $850 million worth of American arms and equipment to replace its material losses. Nixon instead sent some $2 billion worth. The Operation Nickel Grass, arms lift enraged King Faisal of Saudi Arabia, Faisal of Saudi Arabia, and he retaliated on October 20, 1973 by placing a 1973 oil crisis, total embargo on oil shipments to the United States, to be joined by all of the other oil-producing Arab states except Ba'athist Iraq, Iraq and History of Libya under Muammar Gaddafi, Libya. On November 7, 1973, Kissinger flew to Riyadh to meet King Faisal and to ask him to end the oil embargo in exchange for promising to be "even handed" in the Arab-Israeli dispute. Despite all of Kissinger's efforts to charm him, Faisal refused to end the oil embargo. Only on March 19, 1974 did the king end the oil embargo, after Sadat reported to him that the United States was being more "even handed" and after Kissinger had promised to sell Saudi Arabia weapons that it had previously denied under the grounds that they might be used against Israel. Kissinger pressured the Israelis to cede some of the newly captured land back to its Arab neighbors, contributing to the first phases of Israeli–Egyptian non-aggression. In 1973–74, Kissinger engaged in "shuttle diplomacy" flying between Tel Aviv, Cairo, and Damascus in a bid to make the armistice the basis of a preferment peace. Kissinger's first meeting with Hafez al-Assad lasted 6 hours and 30 minutes, causing the press to believe for a moment that he had been kidnapped by the Syrians. In his memoirs, Kissinger described how, during the course of his 28 meetings in Damascus in 1973–74, Assad "negotiated tenaciously and daringly like a Riverboat casino, riverboat gambler to make sure he had exacted the last sliver of available concessions". In contrast, Kissinger's negotiations with Sadat, through not without difficulties, were more fruitful. The move saw a warming in Foreign relations of Egypt#United States, U.S.–Egyptian relations, bitter since the 1950s, as the country moved away from its former independent stance and into a close partnership with the United States.

The Persian Gulf

A major concern for Kissinger was the possibility of Soviet influence in the Persian Gulf. In April 1969, Ba'athist Iraq, Iraq came into conflict with Pahlavi dynasty, Iran when Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi renounced the 1937 treaty governing the Shatt-al-Arab river. After two years of skirmishes along the border, President Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr broke off Iran–Iraq relations, diplomatic relations with Iran on December 1, 1971. In May 1972, Nixon and Kissinger visited Tehran to tell the Shah that there would be no "second-guessing of his requests" to buy American weapons. At the same time, Nixon and Kissinger agreed a plan of the Shah's that the United States together with Iran and Israel would support the Kurds in Iraq, Kurdish ''peshmerga'' guerrillas fighting for independence from Iraq. Kissinger later wrote that after Vietnam, there was no possibility of deploying American forces in the Middle East, and henceforward Iran was to act as America's surrogate in the Persian Gulf. Kissinger described the Baathist regime in Iraq as a potential threat to the United States and believed that building up Iran and supporting the ''peshmerga'' was the best counterweight.

Turkish invasion of Cyprus

Following a Greece–United States relations, period of steady relations between the U.S. Government and the Greek junta, Greek military regime after 1967, Secretary of State Kissinger was faced with the 1974 Cypriot coup d'état, coup by the Greek junta and the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in July and August 1974. In an August 1974 edition of ''The New York Times'', it was revealed that Kissinger and State Department were informed in advance οf the impending coup by the Greek junta in Cyprus. Indeed, according to the journalist, the official version of events as told by the State Department was that it felt it had to warn the Greek military regime not to carry out the coup. Kissinger was a target of Anti-Americanism, anti-American sentiment which was a significant feature of Greek public opinion at the time—particularly among young people—viewing the U.S. role in Cyprus as negative. In a demonstration by students in Heraklion, Crete,Front page of the Greek newspaper To Vima, issue of August 17, 1974, articles "The Cyprus crisis is Kissinger's Watergate" [Τό Κυπριακό εἶναι το Γουώτεργκέητ τοῦ κ. Κίσσινγκερ] and "Anti-American youth demonstration in Thessaloniki and Heraklion" [Ἀντιαμερικανική διαδήλωσις νέων εἰς τήν Θεσσαλονίκην και εἰς τό Ἡράκλειον] (photo-reprint in the book series soon after the second phase of the Turkish invasion in August 1974, slogans such as "Kissinger, murderer", "Americans get out", "No to Partition" and "Cyprus is no Vietnam" were heard. Some years later, Kissinger expressed the opinion that the Cyprus dispute, Cyprus issue was resolved in 1974.

Latin American policy

The United States continued to recognize and maintain relationships with non-left-wing governments, democratic and authoritarian alike. John F. Kennedy's Alliance for Progress was ended in 1973. In 1974, negotiations over a new settlement for the Panama Canal began, and they eventually led to the Torrijos-Carter Treaties and the handing over of the Canal to Panamanian control. Kissinger initially supported the normalization of United States-Cuba relations, broken since 1961 (all U.S.–Cuban trade was blocked in February 1962, a few weeks after the exclusion of Cuba from the Organization of American States because of U.S. pressure). However, he quickly changed his mind and followed Kennedy's policy. After the involvement of the Cuban Revolutionary Armed Forces in the independence struggles in Angolan War of Independence, Angola and Mozambican War of Independence, Mozambique, Kissinger said that unless Cuba withdrew its forces relations would not be normalized. Cuba refused.

Intervention in Chile

Chilean Socialist Party of Chile, Socialist Party presidential candidate Salvador Allende was elected by a Plurality (voting), plurality of 36.2 percent in 1970, causing serious concern in Washington, D.C. due to his openly socialist and pro-Cuban politics. The Nixon administration, with Kissinger's input, authorized the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to encourage a military coup that would prevent Allende's inauguration, but the plan was not successful.Alleged Assassination Plots Involving Foreign Leaders (1975)
Church Committee, pp. 246–247, 250–254.
On September 11, 1973, Allende died during a military coup launched by Army Commander-in-Chief Augusto Pinochet, who became president. In September 1976, Orlando Letelier, a Chilean opponent of the new Pinochet regime, Assassination of Orlando Letelier, was assassinated in Washington, D.C. with a car bomb. Previously, Kissinger had helped secure his release from prison, and had chosen to cancel a letter to Chile warning them against carrying out any political assassinations. This murder was part of Operation Condor, a covert program of political repression and assassination carried out by Southern Cone nations that Kissinger has been Operation Condor#U.S. involvement, accused of being involved in. On September 10, 2001, the family of Chilean general René Schneider filed a suit against Kissinger, accusing him of collaborating in arranging Schneider's kidnapping which resulted in his death. The case was later dismissed by a U.S. District Court, citing Separation of powers under the United States Constitution, separation of powers: "The decision to support a coup of the Chilean government to prevent Dr. Allende from coming to power, and the means by which the United States Government sought to effect that goal, implicate policy makers in the murky realm of foreign affairs and national security best left to the political branches." Decades later, the CIA admitted its involvement in the kidnapping of General Schneider, but not his murder, and subsequently paid the group responsible for his death $35,000 "to keep the prior contact secret, maintain the goodwill of the group, and for humanitarian reasons."


Kissinger took a similar line as he had toward Chile when the Armed Forces of the Argentine Republic, Argentine Armed Forces, led by Jorge Rafael Videla, Jorge Videla, toppled the elected government of Isabel Martínez de Perón, Isabel Perón in 1976 with a process called the National Reorganization Process by the military, with which they consolidated power, launching brutal reprisals and "forced disappearance#Argentina, disappearances" against political opponents. An October 1987 investigative report in The Nation, ''The Nation'' broke the story of how, in a June 1976 meeting in the Hotel Carrera in Santiago, Kissinger gave the military junta in neighboring Argentina the "green light" for their own clandestine repression against leftwing guerrillas and other dissidents, thousands of whom were kept in more than 400 secret concentration camps before they were executed. During a meeting with Argentine foreign minister César Augusto Guzzetti, Kissinger assured him that the United States was an ally, but urged him to "get back to normal procedures" quickly before the United States Congress, U.S. Congress reconvened and had a chance to consider sanctions. As the article published in ''The Nation'' noted, as the state-sponsored terror mounted, conservative Republican U.S. Ambassador to Buenos Aires Robert C. Hill "'was shaken, he became very disturbed, by the case of the son of a thirty-year embassy employee, a student who was arrested, never to be seen again,' recalled former ''New York Times'' reporter Juan de Onis. 'Hill took a personal interest.' He went to the Interior Minister, a general with whom he had worked on drug cases, saying, 'Hey, what about this? We're interested in this case.' He questioned (Foreign Minister Cesar) César Augusto Guzzetti, Guzzetti and, finally, President Jorge R. Videla himself. 'All he got was stonewalling; he got nowhere.' de Onis said. 'His last year was marked by increasing disillusionment and dismay, and he backed his staff on human rights right to the hilt." In a letter to ''The Nation'' editor Victor Navasky, protesting publication of the article, Kissinger claimed that: "At any rate, the notion of Hill as a passionate human rights advocate is news to all his former associates." Yet Kissinger aide Harry W. Shlaudeman later disagreed with Kissinger, telling the oral historian William E. Knight of the Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training Foreign Affairs Oral History Project: "It really came to a head when I was Assistant Secretary, or it began to come to a head, in the case of Argentina where the dirty war was in full flower. Bob Hill, who was Ambassador then in Buenos Aires, a very conservative Republican politician -- by no means liberal or anything of the kind, began to report quite effectively about what was going on, this slaughter of innocent civilians, supposedly innocent civilians -- this vicious war that they were conducting, underground war. He, at one time in fact, sent me a back-channel telegram saying that the Foreign Minister, who had just come for a visit to Washington and had returned to Buenos Aires, had gloated to him that Kissinger had said nothing to him about human rights. I don't know -- I wasn't present at the interview." Navasky later wrote in his book about being confronted by Kissinger, "'Tell me, Mr. Navasky,' [Kissinger] said in his famous guttural tones, 'how is it that a short article in a obscure journal such as yours about a conversation that was supposed to have taken place years ago about something that did or didn't happen in Argentina resulted in sixty people holding placards denouncing me a few months ago at the airport when I got off the plane in Copenhagen?'" According to declassified state department files, Kissinger also attempted to thwart the Carter Administration's efforts to halt the mass killings by the 1976–83 military dictatorship.


In September 1976, Kissinger was actively involved in negotiations regarding the Rhodesian Bush War. Kissinger, along with South Africa's Prime Minister John Vorster, pressured Rhodesian Prime Minister Ian Smith to hasten the transition to black majority rule in Rhodesia. With FRELIMO in control of Mozambique and even the apartheid regime of South Africa withdrawing its support, Rhodesia's isolation was nearly complete. According to Smith's autobiography, Kissinger told Smith of Mrs. Kissinger's admiration for him, but Smith stated that he thought Kissinger was asking him to sign Rhodesia's "death certificate". Kissinger, bringing the weight of the United States, and corralling other relevant parties to put pressure on Rhodesia, hastened the end of minority-rule.

East Timor

The Portuguese decolonization process brought U.S. attention to the former Portuguese colony of East Timor, which declared its independence in 1975. Indonesian president Suharto regarded East Timor as rightfully part of Indonesia. In December 1975, Suharto discussed invasion plans during a meeting with Kissinger and President Ford in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta. Both Ford and Kissinger made clear that U.S. relations with Indonesia would remain strong and that it would not object to the proposed annexation. They only wanted it done "fast" and proposed that it be delayed until after they had returned to Washington. Accordingly, Suharto delayed the operation for one day. Finally on December 7 Indonesian forces invaded the former Portuguese colony. U.S. arms sales to Indonesia continued, and Suharto went ahead with the annexation plan. According to Ben Kiernan, the invasion and occupation resulted in the East Timor genocide, deaths of nearly a quarter of the Timorese population from 1975 to 1981.


In February 1976, Kissinger considered launching air strikes against ports and military installations in Cuba, as well as deploying Marine battalions based at the US Navy base at Guantanamo Bay, in retaliation for Cuban President Fidel Castro's decision in late 1975 to send troops to Angola to help the newly independent nation fend off attacks from South Africa and right-wing guerrillas.

Western Sahara

The Kissingerian doctrine endorsed the forced concession of Spanish Sahara to Morocco. At the height of the 1975 Sahara crisis, Kissinger misled Gerald Ford into thinking the International Court of Justice had ruled in favor of Morocco. Kissinger was aware in advance of the Moroccan plans for the invasion of the territory, materialized on November 6, 1975 in the so-called Green March.

Later roles

Kissinger left office when Democrat Jimmy Carter defeated Republican Gerald Ford in the 1976 presidential elections. Kissinger continued to participate in policy groups, such as the Trilateral Commission, and to maintain political consulting, speaking, and writing engagements. After Kissinger left office in 1977, he was offered an endowed chair at Columbia University. There was student opposition to the appointment, which became a subject of media commentary. Columbia canceled the appointment as a result. Kissinger was then appointed to Georgetown University's Center for Strategic and International Studies. He taught at Georgetown's Edmund Walsh School of Foreign Service for several years in the late 1970s. In 1982, with the help of a loan from the international banking firm of Warburg Pincus, E.M. Warburg, Pincus and Company, Kissinger founded a consulting firm, Kissinger Associates, and is a partner in affiliate Kissinger McLarty Associates with Mack McLarty, former White House Chief of Staff, chief of staff to President Bill Clinton. He also serves on the board of directors of Hollinger International, a Chicago-based newspaper group, and as of March 1999, was a director of Gulfstream Aerospace. In September 1989, the ''Wall Street Journals John Fialka disclosed that Kissinger took a direct economic interest in US-China relations in March 1989 with the establishment of China Ventures, Inc., a Delaware limited partnership, of which he was chairman of the board and chief executive officer. A US$75 million investment in a joint venture with the Communist Party government's primary commercial vehicle at the time, China International Trust & Investment Corporation (CITIC), was its purpose. Board members were major clients of Kissinger Associates. Kissinger was criticised for not disclosing his role in the venture when called upon by ABC's Peter Jennings to comment the morning after the June 4, 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre. Kissinger's position was generally supportive of Deng Xiaoping's decision to use the military against the demonstrating students and he opposed economic sanctions. From 1995 to 2001, Kissinger served on the board of directors for Freeport-McMoRan, a multinational corporation, multinational copper and gold producer with significant mining and milling operations in Papua (Indonesian province), Papua, Indonesia. In February 2000, then-president of Indonesia Abdurrahman Wahid appointed Kissinger as a political advisor. He also serves as an honorary advisor to the U.S.-Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce, United States-Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce. In 1998, in response to the 2002 Winter Olympic bid scandal, the International Olympic Committee formed a commission, called the "2000 Commission," to recommend reforms, which Kissinger served on. This service led in 2000 to his appointment as one of five IOC "honor members," a category the organization described as granted to "eminent personalities from outside the IOC who have rendered particularly outstanding services to it." From 2000 to 2006, Kissinger served as chairman of the board of trustees of Eisenhower Fellowships. In 2006, upon his departure from Eisenhower Fellowships, he received the Dwight D. Eisenhower Medal for Leadership and Service. In November 2002, he was appointed by President of the United States, President George W. Bush to chair the newly established 9/11 Commission, National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States to investigate the September 11 attacks. Kissinger stepped down as chairman on December 13, 2002, rather than reveal his business client list, when queried about potential conflicts of interest. In the Rio Tinto espionage case of 2009–2010, Kissinger was paid $5 million to advise the multinational mining company how to distance itself from an employee who had been arrested in China for bribery. Kissinger—along with William Perry, Sam Nunn, and George Shultz—has called upon governments to embrace the vision of a world free of nuclear weapons, and in three ''Wall Street Journal'' op-eds proposed an ambitious program of urgent steps to that end. The four have created the Nuclear Threat Initiative to advance this agenda. In 2010, the four were featured in a documentary film entitled ''Nuclear Tipping Point''. The film is a visual and historical depiction of the ideas laid forth in the ''Wall Street Journal'' op-eds and reinforces their commitment to a world without nuclear weapons and the steps that can be taken to reach that goal. In December 2008, Kissinger was given the American Patriot Award by the National Defense University Foundation "in recognition for his distinguished career in public service." On November 17, 2016, Kissinger met with then President-elect of the United States, President-elect Donald Trump during which they discussed global affairs. Kissinger also met with President Trump at the White House in May 2017. In an interview with Charlie Rose on August 17, 2017, Kissinger said about President Trump: "I'm hoping for an Augustinian moment, for Augustine of Hippo, St. Augustine ... who in his early life followed a pattern that was quite incompatible with later on when he had a vision, and rose to sainthood. One does not expect the president to become that, but it's conceivable ..." Kissinger also argued that Russian President Vladimir Putin wanted to weaken Hillary Clinton, not elect Donald Trump. Kissinger said that Putin "thought—wrongly incidentally—that she would be extremely confrontational ... I think he tried to weaken the incoming president [Clinton]".

Views on U.S. foreign policy

Yugoslav wars

In several articles of his and interviews that he gave during the Yugoslav wars, he criticized the United States' policies in Southeast Europe, among other things for the recognition of Bosnia and Herzegovina as a sovereign state, which he described as a foolish act. Most importantly he dismissed the notion of Serbs and Croats being aggressors or separatist, saying that "they can't be separating from something that has never existed". In addition, he repeatedly warned the West against inserting itself into a conflict that has its roots at least hundreds of years back in time, and said that the West would do better if it allowed the Serbs and Croats to join their respective countries. Kissinger shared similarly critical views on Kosovo War, Western involvement in Kosovo. In particular, he held a disparaging view of the Rambouillet Agreement: However, as the Serbs did not accept the Rambouillet text and 1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, NATO bombings started, he opted for a continuation of the bombing as NATO's credibility was now at stake, but dismissed the use of ground forces, claiming that it was not worth it.


In 2006, it was reported in the book ''State of Denial: Bush at War, Part III, State of Denial'' by Bob Woodward that Kissinger met regularly with President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney to offer advice on the Iraq War. Kissinger confirmed in recorded interviews with Woodward that the advice was the same as he had given in a column in ''The Washington Post'' on August 12, 2005: "Victory over the Iraqi insurgency (2003–2011), insurgency is the only meaningful exit strategy." In an interview on the BBC's ''Andrew Marr Show, Sunday AM'' on November 19, 2006, Kissinger was asked whether there is any hope left for a clear military victory in Iraq and responded, "If you mean by 'military victory' an Iraqi government that can be established and whose writ runs across the whole country, that gets the Iraqi Civil War (2006–2008), civil war under control and Sectarian violence in Iraq, sectarian violence under control in a time period that the political processes of the democracies will support, I don't believe that is possible. ... I think we have to redefine the course. But I don't believe that the alternative is between military victory as it had been defined previously, or total withdrawal." In an interview with Peter Robinson of the Hoover Institution on April 3, 2008, Kissinger reiterated that even though he supported the 2003 invasion of Iraq, he thought that the George W. Bush administration rested too much of its case for war on Saddam's supposed weapons of mass destruction. Robinson noted that Kissinger had criticized the administration for invading with too few troops, for disbanding the Iraqi Army, and for mishandling relations with certain allies.


Kissinger said in April 2008 that "India has parallel objectives to the United States," and he called it an Alliance, ally of the U.S.


Kissinger was present at the opening ceremony of the 2008 Summer Olympics, 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics. A few months before the Games opened, as controversy over China's human rights record was intensifying due to criticism by Amnesty International and other groups of the widespread use of the death penalty and other issues, Kissinger told the PRC's official press agency Xinhua: "I think one should separate Olympics as a sporting event from whatever political disagreements people may have had with China. I expect that the games will proceed in the spirit for which they were designed, which is friendship among nations, and that other issues are discussed in other forums." He said China had made huge efforts to stage the Games. "Friends of China should not use the Olympics to pressure China now." He added that he would bring two of his grandchildren to watch the Games and planned to attend the opening ceremony. During the Games, he participated with Australian swimmer Ian Thorpe, film star Jackie Chan, and former British PM Tony Blair at a Peking University forum on the qualities that make a champion. He sat with his wife Nancy Kissinger, President George W. Bush, former President George H. W. Bush, and Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi at the men's basketball game between China and the U.S. In 2011, Kissinger published ''On China'', chronicling the evolution of Sino-American relations and laying out the challenges to a partnership of 'genuine strategic trust' between the U.S. and China. In his 2011 book ''On China'', his 2014 book ''World Order (book), World Order'' and in a 2018 interview with ''Financial Times'', Kissinger stated that he believes China wants to restore its historic role as the Middle Kingdom and be "the principal adviser to all humanity". In 2020, during a period of worsening Sino-American relations caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2019–20 Hong Kong protests, Hong Kong protests, and the China–United States trade war, U.S.-China trade war, Kissinger expressed concerns that the United States and China are entering a Second Cold War and will eventually become embroiled in a military conflict similar to World War I. He called for Chinese President Xi Jinping and the incoming U.S. President-elect Joe Biden to take a less confrontational foreign policy. Kissinger previously said that a potential war between China and the United States would be "worse than the World war, world wars that ruined European civilization."


Kissinger's position on this issue of U.S.–Iran talks was reported by the ''Tehran Times'' to be that "Any direct talks between the U.S. and Iran on issues such as the nuclear dispute would be most likely to succeed if they first involved only diplomatic staff and progressed to the level of secretary of state before the heads of state meet." In 2016, Kissinger said that the biggest challenge facing the Middle East is the "potential domination of the region by an Iran that is both imperial and jihadist." He further wrote in August 2017 that if the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps of Iran and its Shiite allies were allowed to fill the territorial vacuum left by a militarily defeated Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, the region would be left with a land corridor extending from Iran to the Levant "which could mark the emergence of an Iranian radical empire." Commenting on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, Kissinger said that he wouldn't have agreed to it, but that Trump's plan to end the agreement after it was signed would "enable the Iranians to do more than us."

2014 Ukrainian crisis

On March 5, 2014, ''The Washington Post'' published an op-ed piece by Kissinger, 11 days before the 2014 Crimean status referendum, Crimean referendum on whether Autonomous Republic of Crimea should officially rejoin Ukraine or join neighboring Russia. In it, he attempted to balance the Ukrainian, Russian and Western desires for a functional state. He made four main points: # Ukraine should have the right to choose freely its economic and political associations, including with Europe; # Ukraine should not join NATO, a repetition of the position he took seven years before; # Ukraine should be free to create any government compatible with the expressed will of its people. Wise Ukrainian leaders would then opt for a policy of reconciliation between the various parts of their country. He imagined an international position for Ukraine like that of Finland. # Ukraine should maintain sovereignty over Crimea. Kissinger also wrote: "The west speaks Ukrainian; the east speaks mostly Russian. Any attempt by one wing of Ukraine to dominate the other—as has been the pattern—would lead eventually to civil war or break up." Following the publication of his book titled World Order (book), ''World Order'', Kissinger participated in an interview with Charlie Rose and updated his position on Ukraine, which he sees as a possible geographical mediator between Russia and the West. In a question he posed to himself for illustration regarding re-conceiving policy regarding Ukraine, Kissinger stated: "If Ukraine is considered an outpost, then the situation is that its eastern border is the NATO strategic line, and NATO will be within of Volgograd. That will never be accepted by Russia. On the other hand, if the Russian western line is at the Borders of Poland, border of Poland, Europe will be permanently disquieted. The Strategic objective should have been to see whether one can build Ukraine as a bridge between East and West, and whether one can do it as a kind of a joint effort." In December 2016, Kissinger advised then President-elect of the United States, President-elect Donald Trump to accept "Crimea as a part of Russia" in an attempt to secure a rapprochement between the United States and Russia, whose relations soured as a result of the Crimean crisis. When asked if he explicitly considered Russia's sovereignty over Crimea legitimate, Kissinger answered in the affirmative, reversing the position he took in his ''Washington Post'' op-ed.

Computers and nuclear weapons

In 2019, Kissinger wrote about the increasing tendency to give control of nuclear weapons to computers operating with Artificial Intelligence (AI) that: "Adversaries' ignorance of AI-developed configurations will become a strategic advantage". Kissinger argued that giving power to launch nuclear weapons to computers using algorithms to make decisions would eliminate the human factor and give the advantage to the state that had the most effective AI system as a computer can make decisions about war and peace far faster than any human ever could. Just as an AI-enhanced computer can win chess games by anticipating human decision-making, an AI-enhanced computer could be useful in a crisis as in a nuclear war, the side that strikes first would have the advantage by destroying the opponent's nuclear capacity. Kissinger also noted there was always the danger that a computer would make a decision to start a nuclear war that before diplomacy had been exhausted or the algorithm controlling the AI might make a decision to start a nuclear war that would be not understandable to the operators. Kissinger also warned the use of AI to control nuclear weapons would impose "opacity" on the decision-making process as the algorithms that control the AI system are not readily understandable, destabilizing the decision-making process as "...grand strategy requires an understanding of the capabilities and military deployments of potential adversaries. But if more and more intelligence becomes opaque, how will policy makers understand the views and abilities of their adversaries and perhaps even allies? Will many different internets emerge or, in the end, only one? What will be the implications for cooperation? For confrontation? As AI becomes ubiquitous, new concepts for its security need to emerge."

COVID-19 pandemic

On April 3, 2020, Kissinger shared his diagnostic view of the COVID-19 pandemic, saying that it threatens the "liberal world order". Kissinger added that the virus does not know borders although global leaders are trying to address the crisis on a mainly national basis. He stressed that the key is not a purely national effort but greater international cooperation.

Public perception

At the height of Kissinger's prominence, many commented on his wit. In February 1972, at the National Press Club (USA), Washington Press Club annual congressional dinner, "Kissinger mocked his reputation as a secret swinger."Henry Kissinger Off Duty
" ''Time (magazine), Time'', February 7, 1972.
The insight, "Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac", is widely attributed to him, although Kissinger was paraphrasing Napoleon Bonaparte. Four scholars at the College of William & Mary ranked Kissinger as the most effective U.S. Secretary of State in the 50 years to 2015. A number of activists and human rights lawyers, however, have sought his prosecution for alleged war crimes. According to historian and Kissinger biographer Niall Ferguson, however, accusing Kissinger alone of war crimes "requires a double standard" because "nearly all the secretaries of state ... and nearly all the presidents" have taken similar actions. But Ferguson continues "this is not to say that it's all OK." Some have blamed Kissinger for injustices in American foreign policy during his tenure in government. In September 2001, relatives and survivors of General Rene Schneider (former head of the Chilean general staff) filed civil proceedings in Federal Court in Washington, DC, and, in April 2002, a petition for Kissinger's arrest was filed in the High Court in London by human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, citing the destruction of civilian populations and the environment in Indochina during the years 1969–75."Why the law wants a word with Kissinger"
Fairfax Digital, April 30, 2002
British-American journalist and author Christopher Hitchens authored ''The Trial of Henry Kissinger'', in which Hitchens calls for the prosecution of Kissinger "for war crimes, for crimes against humanity, and for offenses against common or customary or international law, including conspiracy to commit murder, kidnap, and torture". Critics on the right, such as Ray Takeyh, have faulted Kissinger for his role in the Nixon administration's opening to China and secret negotiations with North Vietnam. Takeyh writes that while rapprochement with China was a worthy goal, the Nixon administration failed to achieve any meaningful concessions from Chinese officials in return, as China continued to support North Vietnam and various "revolutionary forces throughout the Third World," "nor does there appear to be even a remote, indirect connection between Nixon and Kissinger's diplomacy and the communist leadership's decision, after Mao's bloody rule, to move away from a communist economy towards state capitalism." Historian Jeffrey Kimball (historian), Jeffrey Kimball developed the theory that Kissinger and the Nixon administration accepted a South Vietnamese collapse provided a face-saving decent interval passed between American withdrawal and defeat. In his first meeting with Zhou Enlai in 1971, Kissinger "laid out in detail the settlement terms that would produce such a delayed defeat: total American withdrawal, return of all American POWs, and a ceasefire-in-place for '18 months or some period'", in the words of historian Ken Hughes (historian), Ken Hughes. On October 6, 1972, Kissinger told Nixon twice that the terms of the Paris Peace Accords would probably destroy South Vietnam: "I also think that Thieu is right, that our terms will eventually destroy him." However, Kissinger denied using a "decent interval" strategy, writing "All of us who negotiated the agreement of October 12 were convinced that we had vindicated the anguish of a decade not by a 'decent interval' but by a decent settlement." Johannes Kadura offers a positive assessment of Nixon and Kissinger's strategy, arguing that the two men "simultaneously maintained a Plan A of further supporting Saigon and a Plan B of shielding Washington should their maneuvers prove futile." According to Kadura, the "decent interval" concept has been "largely misrepresented," in that Nixon and Kissinger "sought to gain time, make the North turn inward, and create a perpetual equilibrium" rather than acquiescing in the collapse of South Vietnam. Kissinger's record was brought up during the Democratic Party presidential primaries, 2016, 2016 Democratic Party presidential primaries. Hillary Clinton had cultivated a close relationship with Kissinger, describing him as a "friend" and a source of "counsel." During the Democratic Party presidential debates, 2016, Democratic Primary Debates, Clinton touted Kissinger's praise for her record as Secretary of State. In response, candidate Bernie Sanders issued a critique of Kissinger's foreign policy, declaring, "I am proud to say that Henry Kissinger is not my friend. I will not take advice from Henry Kissinger."

Family and personal life

Kissinger married Ann Fleischer on February 6, 1949. They had two children, Elizabeth and David, and divorced in 1964. On March 30, 1974, he married Nancy Kissinger, Nancy Maginnes. They now live in Kent, Connecticut, and in New York City. Kissinger's son David Kissinger served as an executive with NBCUniversal before becoming head of Conaco, Conan O'Brien's production company. In February 1982, at the age of 58, Henry Kissinger underwent coronary bypass surgery. Kissinger described ''Diplomacy (game), Diplomacy'' as his favorite game in a 1973 interview.''Games & Puzzles'' magazine, May 1973.


Daryl Grove characterised Kissinger as one of the most influential people in the growth of soccer in the United States. Kissinger was named chairman of the North American Soccer League (1968–84), North American Soccer League board of directors in 1978. Since his childhood, Kissinger has been a fan of his hometown's Association football, soccer club, SpVgg Greuther Fürth. Even during his time in office, the German Embassy informed him about the team's results every Monday morning. He is an honorary member with lifetime season-tickets. In September 2012 Kissinger attended a home game in which SpVgg Greuther Fürth lost, 0–2, against FC Schalke 04, Schalke after promising years ago he would attend a Greuther Fürth home game if they were promoted to the Bundesliga, the top football league in Germany, from the 2. Bundesliga.

Awards, honors, and associations

* Kissinger and Le Duc Tho were jointly offered the 1973 Nobel Peace Prize for their work on the Paris Peace Accords which prompted the withdrawal of American forces from the Vietnam war. (Le Duc Tho declined to accept the award on the grounds that such "bourgeois sentimentalities" were not for himNobel Peace Prize#cite note-:0-40, [40] and that peace had not actually been achieved in Vietnam.) Kissinger donated his prize money to charity, did not attend the award ceremony and later offered to return his prize medal after the Fall of Saigon, fall of South Vietnam to North Vietnamese forces 18 months later.Nobel Peace Prize#cite note-:0-40, [40] * In 1973, Kissinger received the U.S. Senator John Heinz Award for Greatest Public Service by an Elected or Appointed Official, an award given out annually by Jefferson Awards for Public Service, Jefferson Awards. * In 1976, Kissinger became the first honorary member of the Harlem Globetrotters. * On January 13, 1977, Kissinger received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President . * In 1980, Kissinger won the List of winners of the National Book Award#History, National Book Award in HistoryThis was the 1980 List of winners of the National Book Award#Biography, award for hardcover History. From 1980 to 1983 there were dual hardcover and paperback awards in most categories, and National Book Award for Nonfiction#nonfiction categories, multiple nonfiction subcategories. Most of the paperback award-winners were reprints, including Kissinger's. for the first volume of his memoirs, ''The White House Years''."National Book Awards – 1980"
National Book Foundation. Retrieved March 16, 2012.
* In 1986, Kissinger was one of twelve recipients of the Medal of Liberty. * In 1995, he was made an honorary Knight Commander of the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George. * In 2000, Kissinger received the Sylvanus Thayer Award at United States Military Academy at West Point. * In 2002, Kissinger became an honorary member of the International Olympic Committee. * On March 1, 2012, Kissinger was awarded Israel's President's Medal (Israel), President's Medal. * In October 2013, Kissinger was awarded the Henry Grunwald (editor), Henry A. Grunwald Award for Public Service by Lighthouse International * Kissinger was a member of the Founding Council of the Rothermere American Institute, University of Oxford. * Kissinger is a member of the following groups: ** Aspen Institute ** Atlantic Council ** Bilderberg Group ** Bohemian Club ** Council on Foreign Relations ** Center for Strategic and International Studies * Kissinger served on the board of Theranos, a health technology company, from 2014 to 2017. * He received the Theodore Roosevelt American Experience Award from the Union League Club of New York in 2009. * He became the Honorary Chair of the Advisory Board for the Bloomberg L.P.#Bloomberg New Economy Forum, Bloomberg New Economy Forum Bloomberg New Economy Advisory Board
Retrieved July 23, 2019
in 2018.

Writings: major books


* 1979. ''The White House Years''. (National Book Award, History Hardcover) * 1982. ''Years of Upheaval''. * 1999. ''Years of Renewal''.

Public policy

* 1957. ''A World Restored: Metternich, Castlereagh and the Problems of Peace, 1812–22''. * 1957. ''Nuclear Weapons and Foreign Policy''. (1984 edition) * 1961. ''The Necessity for Choice: Prospects of American Foreign Policy''. * 1965. ''The Troubled Partnership: A Re-Appraisal of the Atlantic Alliance''. * 1969. ''American Foreign Policy: Three Essays''. * 1981. ''For the Record: Selected Statements 1977–1980''. * 1985. ''Observations: Selected Speeches and Essays 1982–1984''. * 1994. ''Diplomacy (book), Diplomacy''. * 1999. ''Kissinger Transcripts: The Top Secret Talks With Beijing and Moscow'' (Henry Kissinger, William Burr). * 2001. ''Does America Need a Foreign Policy? Toward a Diplomacy for the 21st Century''. * 2002. ''Vietnam: A Personal History of America's Involvement in and Extrication from the Vietnam War''. * 2003. ''Crisis: The Anatomy of Two Major Foreign Policy Crises: Based on the Record of Henry Kissinger's Hitherto Secret Telephone Conversations''. * 2011. ''On China'' (New York: Penguin Press, 2011). . * 2014. ''World Order (book), World Order'' (New York: Penguin Press, September 9, 2014). .

See also

* List of foreign-born United States Cabinet Secretaries




* * * *

Further reading


* 1973. Graubard, Stephen Richards, ''Kissinger: Portrait of a Mind''. * 1974. Kalb, Marvin L. and Kalb, Bernard, ''Kissinger'', * 1974. Schlafly, Phyllis, ''Kissinger on the Couch''. Arlington House Publishers. * 1983. Hersh, Seymour, ''The Price of Power: Kissinger in the Nixon White House'', Summit Books. . (''Awards:'' National Book Critics Circle, General Non-Fiction Award. Best Book of the Year: ''New York Times Book Review''; ''Newsweek''; ''San Francisco Chronicle'') * 2004. Hanhimäki, Jussi. ''The Flawed Architect: Henry Kissinger and American Foreign Policy''. * 2009. Kurz, Evi. ''The Kissinger-Saga – Walter and Henry Kissinger. Two Brothers from Fuerth'', Germany. London. Weidenfeld & Nicolson. . * 2015. * 2020. David Runciman, Runciman, David, "Don't be a Kerensky!" (review of Barry Gewen, ''The Inevitability of Tragedy: Henry Kissinger and His World'', Norton, April 2020, , 452 pp.; and Thomas Schwartz, ''Henry Kissinger and American Power: A Political Biography'', Hill and Wang, September 2020, , 548 pp.), ''London Review of Books'', vol. 42, no. 23 (December 3, 2020), pp. 13–16, 18. "[Kissinger] was [...] a political opportunist doing his best to keep one step ahead of the people determined to bring him down. [...] Unelected, unaccountable, never really representing anyone but himself, he rose so high and resided so long in America's political consciousness because his shapeshifting allowed people to find in him what they wanted to find." (p. 18.)


* Yehuda Avner, Avner, Yehuda, ''The Prime Ministers: An Intimate Narrative of Israeli Leadership'', 2010. * Bass, Gary. ''The Blood Telegram: Nixon, Kissinger, and a Forgotten Genocide'', 2013. 0 * Benedetti, Amedeo. ''Lezioni di politica di Henry Kissinger : linguaggio, pensiero ed aforismi del più abile politico di fine Novecento'', Genova: Erga, 2005 . . * Berman, Larry, ''No peace, no honor. Nixon, Kissinger, and Betrayal in Vietnam'', New York: Free Press (publisher), Free Press, 2001. . * Dallek, Robert, ''Nixon and Kissinger: Partners in Power''. HarperCollins, 2007.
Graebner, Norman A. "Henry Kissinger and American Foreign Policy: A Contemporary Appraisal." Conspectus of History 1.2 (1975).
* Greg Grandin, Grandin, Greg, ''Kissinger's Shadow: The Long Reach of America's Most Controversial Statesman.'' Metropolitan Books, 2015.
Groth, Alexander J, ''Henry Kissinger and the Limits of Realpolitik'', in: Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs V:I (2011)
* Hanhimäki, Jussi M., 'Dr. Kissinger' or 'Mr. Henry'? Kissingerology, Thirty Years and Counting', in: ''Diplomatic History'', Vol. 27, Issue 5, pp. 637–76. * Hanhimäki, Jussi. ''The Flawed Architect: Henry Kissinger and American Foreign Policy'' (2004
* Keys, Barbara, "Henry Kissinger: The Emotional Statesman," in ''Diplomatic History'', Vol. 35, Issue 4, pp. 587–609, . * Christopher Hitchens, Hitchens, Christopher, ''The Trial of Henry Kissinger'', 2002. * Klitzing, Holger, ''The Nemesis of Stability. Henry A. Kissinger's Ambivalent Relationship with Germany''. Trier: WVT 2007, * Mohan, Shannon E. "Memorandum for Mr. Bundy": Henry Kissinger as Consultant to the Kennedy National Security Council," ''Historian'', 71,2 (2009), 234–257. * Morris, Roger, ''Uncertain Greatness: Henry Kissinger and American Foreign Policy''. Harper and Row, * Qureshi, Lubna Z. ''Nixon, Kissinger, and Allende: U.S. Involvement in the 1973 Coup in Chile.'' Lexington Books, 2009. * Schmidt, Helmut, ''On Men and Power: A Political Memoir''. 1990. * Schulzinger, Robert D. ''Henry Kissinger. Doctor of Diplomacy''. New York: Columbia University Press, 1989. * Shawcross, William, ''Sideshow: Kissinger, Nixon, and the Destruction of Cambodia'' (Revised edition October 2002) . * Suri, Jeremi, ''Henry Kissinger and the American Century'' (Harvard, Belknap Press, 2007), . * Thornton, Richard C. ''The Nixon-Kissinger Years: Reshaping America's Foreign Policy'' (2001

External links

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