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Secretary of State in For his actions negotiating a ceasefire in Vietnam , Kissinger received the Nobel Peace Prize under controversial circumstances, with two members of the committee resigning in protest. A practitioner of Realpolitik , [5] Kissinger played a prominent role in United States foreign policy between and Kissinger has also been associated with such controversial policies as U.

Kissinger has written over a dozen books on diplomatic history and international relations. Kissinger remains a controversial and polarizing figure in American politics, both condemned as an alleged war criminal by many journalists, political activists, and human rights lawyers, [5] [7] [8] [9] as well as venerated as a highly effective U.

Secretary of State by many prominent international relations scholars. His mother, Paula Stern Kissinger — , from Leutershausen , was a homemaker. Kissinger has a younger brother, Walter Kissinger born Kissinger spent his high school years in the 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 German accent , due to childhood shyness that made him hesitant to speak.

He excelled academically as a part-time student, continuing to work while enrolled. His studies were interrupted in early , when he was drafted into the U. On June 19, , while stationed in South Carolina, at the age of 20 years, he became a naturalized U. The army sent him to study engineering at Lafayette College , Pennsylvania , but the program was canceled, and Kissinger was reassigned to the 84th Infantry Division.

There, he made the acquaintance of Fritz Kraemer , a fellow Jewish 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 , 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. 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. Although he possessed absolute authority and powers of arrest, Kissinger took care to avoid abuses against the local population by his command. In , 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.

In , while still a graduate student at Harvard, he served as a consultant to the director of the Psychological Strategy Board. It means no more than an international agreement about the nature of workable arrangements and about the permissible aims and methods of foreign policy". 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 and, with Robert R. Bowie , co-founded the Center for International Affairs in where he served as associate director.

He released his book Nuclear Weapons and Foreign Policy the following year. He was also director of the Harvard International Seminar between and Keen to have a greater influence on U. The relationship between Nixon and Kissinger was unusually close, and has been compared to the relationships of Woodrow Wilson and Colonel House , or Franklin D.

Roosevelt and Harry Hopkins. A proponent of Realpolitik , Kissinger played a dominant role in United States foreign policy between and This policy led to a significant relaxation in US—Soviet tensions and played a crucial role in talks with Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai. The talks concluded with a rapprochement between the United States and the People's Republic of China, and the formation of a new strategic anti-Soviet Sino-American alignment.

The ceasefire, however, was not durable. Kissinger and Nixon shared a penchant for secrecy and conducted numerous "backchannel" negotiations that excluded State Department experts. One historian argues that Kissinger formed such a strong "bond of affection, trust, and mutual interest" with the ambassador that he came to see U. He typically met with or talked to Dobrynin about four times a week, and they had a direct line to each other's offices. Nixon gave Kissinger the freedom to assemble his own team in in order to "revitalize" the National Security Council.

Rogers and the Defense Secretary Melvin Laird from the decision-making process. Profound policy thrives on perpetual creation, on a constant redefinition of goals Bureaucracies are designed to execute, not conceive". Kissinger sought to place diplomatic pressure on the Soviet Union by playing the "China card". Kissinger initially had little interest in China when began his work as National Security Adviser in , and the driving force being the rapprochement with China was Nixon.

Kissinger made two trips to the People's Republic of China in July and October the first of which was made in secret to confer with Premier Zhou Enlai , then in charge of Chinese foreign policy. According to Kissinger's book, The White House Years and On China , the first secret China trip was arranged through Pakistani and Romanian diplomatic and Presidential involvement, as there were no direct communication channels between the states. In October , at the same time 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.

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 the Republic of China to be expelled from the UN. But you have already cast aside many old friends. Chiang Kai-shek was even an older friend of ours than yours". His trips paved the way for the groundbreaking summit between Nixon, Zhou, and Communist Party of China Chairman Mao Zedong , as well as the 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. While Kissinger's diplomacy led to economic and cultural exchanges between the two sides and the establishment of Liaison Offices in the Chinese and American capitals, with serious implications for Indochinese matters, full normalization of relations with the People's Republic of China would not occur until , because the Watergate scandal overshadowed the latter years of the Nixon presidency and because the United States continued to recognize the Republic of China on Taiwan.

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. Kissinger says that "In August I toured Vietnam first for two weeks in October and November , again for about ten days in July , and a third time for a few days in October Lodge gave me a free hand to look into any subject of my choice".

He became convinced of the meaninglessness of military victories in Vietnam, " Nixon had been elected in on the promise of achieving "peace with honor" and ending the Vietnam War.

By promising to continue the peace talks which Johnson began in May in Paris, Nixon admitted that he had ruled out "a military victory" in Vietnam. In an article published in Foreign Affairs in January , Kissinger criticized General William Westmoreland's attrition strategy because the Vietnamese Communists were willing to accept far higher losses on the battlefield than the United States and could therefore "win" as long as they did not "lose" by merely keeping the war going.

In early , 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 16 March Nixon at a meeting at the White House attended by Kissinger announced the bombing would start the next day.

Beecher of the New York Times who published an article about it, which infuriated Kissinger. Hoover "we will destroy whoever did this". Rostow, whose actions as National Security Adviser had caused him to be ostracized by the liberal American intelligentsia. As part of the "linkage" concept, Kissinger in March sent Cyrus Vance to Moscow with the message that if the Soviet Union pressured North Vietnam into a diplomatic settlement favorable to the United States, the reward would be concessions on the talks on limiting the nuclear arms race.

S troops fighting in Vietnam "remains one of our few bargaining weapons". S troops come home, the more will be demanded", giving the advantage to the enemy who merely had to "wait us out". Kissinger played a key role in bombing Cambodia to disrupt PAVN and Viet Cong units launching raids into South Vietnam from within Cambodia's borders and resupplying their forces by using the Ho Chi Minh trail and other routes, as well as the Cambodian Incursion and subsequent widespread bombing of Khmer Rouge targets in Cambodia.

The Paris peace talks had become stalemated by late owing to the obstructionism of the South Vietnamese delegation who wanted the talks to fail. Cambodia had descended into chaos by late March as Lon Nol regime to prove its nationalist credibility organized pogroms against the Vietnamese minority, leading the North Vietnamese and the Viet Cong to attack and defeat Cambodia's weak army.

On 26 April , Nixon decided to "go for broke" by invading Cambodia with U. S troops. In his interview with Karnow, Kissinger maintained he felt torn about where he stood and blamed Nixon for his failure to find "the language of respect and compassion that might have created a bridge at least to the more reasonable elements of the antiwar movement".

The Cambodian "incursion" saw American and South Vietnamese take the areas of eastern Cambodia that American commanders called the Fish Hook and Parrot's Beak and captured an impressive haul of arms originating from China and the Soviet Union. The bombing campaign in Cambodia contributed to the chaos of the Cambodian Civil War , which saw the forces of leader Lon Nol unable to retain foreign support to combat the growing Khmer Rouge insurgency that would overthrow him in Chandler argues that the bombing "had the effect the Americans wanted—it broke the Communist encirclement of Phnom Penh.

But when the Right starts wanting to get out, for whatever reason, that's our problem". In late , Nixon and Kissinger became concerned that the North Vietnamese would launch a major offensive in to coincide with presidential election, making it imperative to cut the Ho Chi Minh Trail in to prevent the Communists from building up their forces. In late May , Kissinger returned to Paris to fruitlessly meet again with Tho.

In June , Kissinger supported Nixon's effort to ban the Pentagon Papers saying the "hemorrhage of state secrets" to the media was making diplomacy impossible. Reflecting his increasingly frustration with the war, Nixon often talked to Kissinger in a bloodthirsty manner about a "fantasy holocaust" in which he would have U. By early , Nixon boasted that he had pulled out , U.

S soldiers from Vietnam since July , and battle deaths had fallen from an average of per week in down to an average of 10 per week in On 21 February was in Nixon's words "the week that changed the world" as he landed in Beijing to meet Mao Zedong. At the time of the Easter Offensive, Kissinger was deeply involved in planning for Nixon's visit to Moscow in May The offensive brought to the fore the differences between Nixon and Kissinger. Nixon threatened to cancel his summit with Leonid Brezhnev in Moscow if the Soviet Union did not force North Vietnam to end the Easter Offensive at once, saying: "Whatever else happens, we cannot lose this war.

The summit isn't worth a damn if the price for it is losing in Vietnam". Beam , and then went to have tea with Brezhnev in the Kremlin. S Navy to mine the coast of North Vietnam. On 24 July , Congress passed an act calling for the total withdraw of all American forces from Vietnam once all of the American POWs in North Vietnam were released, causing Kissinger to say the North Vietnamese only had to wait until "Congress voted us of the war".

We could not make it a condition for a final settlement. We had long passed that threshold". I want to meet their terms. I want to reach an agreement. I want to end this war before the election.


Henry Kissinger

Secretary of State in For his actions negotiating a ceasefire in Vietnam , Kissinger received the Nobel Peace Prize under controversial circumstances, with two members of the committee resigning in protest. A practitioner of Realpolitik , [5] Kissinger played a prominent role in United States foreign policy between and Kissinger has also been associated with such controversial policies as U.

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It is a sweep of the history of international relations and the art of diplomacy , largely concentrating on the 20th century and the Western World. Kissinger also provides insightful critiques of the counter realist diplomatic tactics of collective security , developed in the Charter of the League of Nations , and self determination , also a principle of the League. Kissinger also examines the use of the sphere of influence arguments put forth by the Soviet Union in Eastern and Southern Europe after World War II ; an argument that has been maintained by contemporary Russian foreign relations with regard to Ukraine , Georgia and other former Soviet satellites in Central Asia. The history begins in Europe in the 17th century, but quickly advances up to the World Wars and then the Cold War. Kissinger refers to himself numerous times in the book, especially when recounting the Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford presidencies.





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