Life and times of Henry Kissinger
May 15, 2023 - On May 27, Henry Kissinger will celebrate his one-hundredth birthday. As National Security Advisor and Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger significantly influenced U.S. foreign policy from 1969 to 1976 under Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford.
In 1969, for the first time, the United States and the USSR agreed to significantly slow the nuclear arms race with the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT).
The Vietnam War had settled into a deadly stalemate, dividing America. Kissinger led the peace talks, which allowed the U.S. military to make a secure and dignified withdrawal in 1973 after eight years of conflict.
The Nixon administration made a diplomatic rapprochement with mainland China to strengthen America’s position in Asia. The Communists had won control in 1949, estranging the U.S. After Kissinger’s secret negotiations with Premier Zhou Enlai, Nixon took a spectacular trip to China in February 1972 to seal the new relationship.
In October 1973, Israeli officials telephoned Kissinger to say that they were fighting off an invasion. Egyptian forces attacked the Sinai while the Syrian army was in Israel’s north. The so-called fourth Arab-Israeli War had begun. Nixon dispatched Kissinger to negotiate with Israel, Egypt, and Syria -- Kissinger’s famous “shuttle diplomacy.”
Kissinger’s successes make him a diplomat of historical stature, leaving his mark on the twentieth century.
- Henry Kissinger urged President Richard Nixon to overthrow Allende government in Chile
- How Henry Kissinger Conspired Against a Sitting President (Politico)
- Kissinger Pulls Out as Chief Of Inquiry Into 9/11 Attacks (New York Times)
- Henry Kissinger on a potential artificial intelligence arms race (CBS News