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Henry Kissinger was instrumental in directing U.S. foreign policy while serving as national security advisor from 1969 to 1975 and United States Secretary of State from 1973 until 1977. Practicing realpolitik, Kissinger orchestrated the policy of detente with the Soviet Union, negotiated the termination of American involvement in the Vietnam War, and established diplomatic relations with China.
On the continuation and challenges facing Sino-American relations: [I]n both countries there are significant elements who argue that the traditional pattern of international relations, which dictates confrontation between an aspirant country and an established country, is going to reassert itself and who are therefore advocating a more confrontational approach. That is the challenge of American foreign policy. It’s also the challenge of Chinese foreign policy. . . . There are many unsolved issues, but the most positive thing is that for eight American administrations and for four generations of Chinese leaders, the main lines of diplomacy established in the 1970s have been maintained and elaborated.
On the importance of diplomacy: I don’t like to treat diplomacy and military power as alternatives. We are in the habit of saying that the military fight up to a certain point, and then the diplomats take over, or the other way around. I think the two should be linked. At all times, diplomacy is extremely important, and should be pre-eminent. In the present world, where the number of problems that one can even imagine solving with military means is shrinking, the role of diplomacy is even greater.
Read more about Henry Kissinger HERE.
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"Students asked for suggestions for readings on diplomacy. I pointed to incredible trove of diplomatic memoirs maintained online by the Association for Diplomatic Studies & Training."
Amb. Laura Kennedy (ret.)