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The “Blood Telegram” That Angered Henry Kissinger: Violence in East Pakistan/Bangladesh

Shortly after joining USAID in 1969, Desaix “Terry” Meyers found himself witnessing both the aftermath of a major natural disaster, and the devastating levels of sectarian violence that followed in East Pakistan in the early 1970s. After a cyclone hit Pakistan in the fall of 1970, killing over 500,000 people, a famine ensued. This particular […]

Regarding Henry, Protecting Nancy – On Security Detail with the Kissingers

Traditionally, Secretaries of State receive a personal protection detail from the State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service (DSS). However, Henry Kissinger eschewed the DS detail in favor of the Secret Service protection he had as the National Security Advisor at the White House. His wife Nancy, a brilliant and glamorous New York aristocrat who spent years […]

From Victim of Nuremberg Laws to “Kissinger’s Kissinger”

The Nuremberg Laws were introduced by the Nazi government in Germany on September 15, 1935 to ostracize and impoverish its Jewish population. The laws prohibited marriages between Jewish and non-Jewish Germans, limited employment and revoked citizenship.  Jewish workers and managers were fired and Jewish businesses sold to non-Jewish Germans at prices far below market value. […]

Diplomacy Despite It All – Kissinger’s India Fix

Secretary of State Henry Kissinger visited India October 28, 1974 to discuss its nonalignment policy, which aimed at preserving India’s post-colonial freedom through refusal to join any coalition, including the U.S. or Soviet blocs. Relations between New Delhi and Washington were anything but cordial at this time. The 1971 refusal of Nixon and Kissinger to […]

Wordsmithing in the Fires of Olympus — Writing Speeches for Henry Kissinger

Words are the tools of diplomacy. When done well, high-flung rhetoric can help define an era, such as John F.  Kennedy’s moving “Ich bin ein Berliner” speech or President Ronald Reagan’s demand to “Tear down this wall.” Poorly executed speeches, such as President Carter’s “Malaise” speech, can seriously damage reputations, no matter how well meaning. […]

Kissinger and Lord in China:  A How-To Guide for Secret Negotiations

At the height of the Cold War, with the death toll mounting in Vietnam and the split between the USSR and China becoming more and more evident, it became clear to the Nixon Administration that ending the war in Vietnam and opening relations with China could be a two-front victory. However, because of the sensitive […]

At the Negotiating Table for SALT

U.S.-Soviet relations during the Cold War were marked by increasing tension. Emerging from WWII as the two strongest countries, competition between the two states was inevitable. This competition ranged from the space race, the ability to exert ideological influence on other nations, and perhaps most deadly of all, the arms race. People all over the […]