Henry Kissinger, the controversial Nobel Peace Prize winner and diplomatic tycoon whose service under two presidents has left an indelible mark on U.S. foreign policy, announced on Wednesday that he was a controversial Nobel Peace Prize winner and diplomatic tycoon whose service under two presidents left an indelible mark on U.S. foreign policy, according to Kissinger Associates. He passed away.
Kissinger Associates said he died at his home in Connecticut.
Kissinger remained active well into his 100s, attending White House meetings, publishing books on leadership styles, and testifying before a Senate committee about the nuclear threat posed by North Korea. In July 2023, she made a surprise visit to Beijing to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
In the 1970s, while serving as Secretary of State under Republican President Richard Nixon, he was involved in many of the decade’s landmark world events. The efforts of German-born Jewish refugees led to China’s diplomatic opening, landmark US-Soviet arms control negotiations, expanded relations between Israel and its Arab neighbors, and the Paris Peace Accords with North Vietnam.
Kissinger’s reign as a major architect of US foreign policy declined with the resignation of President Nixon in 1974. Still, he served in the diplomatic corps under President Gerald Ford and continued to express strong opinions for the rest of his life.
While many admire Kissinger’s brilliance and breadth of experience, others brand him a war criminal, particularly for his support for anti-communist dictatorships in Latin America. In his later years, his travels were restricted due to efforts by foreign countries to arrest and interrogate him regarding past U.S. foreign policy.
His 1973 Peace Prize, shared with North Vietnam’s Le Duc Tho, who declined the award, became one of the most controversial awards ever won. Two members of the Nobel Committee resigned over the selection process, raising questions about the US’ secret bombing of Cambodia.
Ford called Kissinger a “super secretary of state,” but also noted Kissinger’s harshness and overconfidence, which critics were likely to call paranoid or self-centered. Even Ford said, “Henry was never wrong in his mind.”
“He was the thinnest-skinned public figure I’ve ever known,” Ford said in an interview shortly before his death in 2006.
With her sombre expression and gravelly German accent, Kissinger was hardly a rock star, but when she was single she charmed the stars of Washington and New York and had a ladylike image. . Power, he said, is the ultimate aphrodisiac.
Kissinger, a vocal voice on policy, was quiet on personal matters, but he once told a journalist that he considered himself a cowboy hero who rode away on his horse alone. .
Heinz Alfred Kissinger was born on May 27, 1923 in Fürth, Germany, and immigrated to the United States with his family in 1938, before the Nazis’ campaign to exterminate Europe’s Jews.
Kissinger took the English version of his name, Henry, and became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1943. He served in the Army in Europe during World War II, and received a scholarship to attend Harvard University, earning a master’s degree in 1952. , received his Ph.D. in 1954. I will be working as a teacher for the next 17 years.
Kissinger served as a consultant to government agencies during much of that period, including when he served as a State Department intermediary in Vietnam in 1967. He used his connections in President Lyndon Johnson’s administration to relay information about peace negotiations to the Nixon campaign.
When Nixon won the 1968 presidential election on a promise to end the Vietnam War, he brought Kissinger to the White House as his national security adviser.
However, the process of “Vietnamization,” which shifted the burden of war from 500,000 U.S. troops to South Vietnam, was long and bloody, interrupted by the U.S. military’s massive bombing of North Vietnam, mining and bombing of northern ports. It was done. of Cambodia.
Although Kissinger declared in 1972 that “peace was on the way” in Vietnam, the Paris Peace Accords signed in January 1973 were only a prelude to the eventual communist occupation of the south two years later. Ta.
In 1973, in addition to his role as National Security Advisor, Kissinger was appointed Secretary of State, giving him unwavering authority in foreign affairs.
The escalating Arab-Israeli conflict led Kissinger to undertake the first so-called “shuttle” missions, the highly personal and high-handed brand of diplomacy for which he became famous.
Kissinger spent 32 days shuttling back and forth between Jerusalem and Damascus to help seal a long-term military disengagement agreement between Israel and Syria in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.
To weaken Soviet influence, Kissinger reached out to China, the Communist Party’s biggest rival, and made two trips to China, including a secret meeting with Premier Zhou Enlai. The result was a historic summit meeting between President Nixon and Chairman Mao Zedong in Beijing, which ultimately formalized the relationship between the two countries.
strategic arms agreement
The Watergate scandal, which forced Nixon to resign, had little impact on Kissinger, who had nothing to do with the cover-up and continued as Secretary of State when Ford became president in the summer of 1974. However, Ford replaced Kissinger as National Security Advisor to the President. Hear more voices on foreign policy.
Later that year, Kissinger accompanied Ford to Vladivostok, Soviet Union, where the president met with Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev and agreed to the basic framework of a strategic arms agreement. The agreement ended Kissinger’s pioneering détente efforts that led to a easing of U.S.-Soviet tensions.
However, Kissinger’s diplomatic skills had their limits. In 1975, he was accused of failing to persuade Israel and Egypt to agree to a second phase of withdrawal in the Sinai Peninsula.
During the 1971 India-Pakistan war, Nixon and Kissinger were heavily criticized for leaning toward Pakistan. Kissinger was heard calling Indians “bastards,” a remark Kissinger later said he regretted.
Like Nixon, he feared the spread of leftist ideology in the Western Hemisphere, and his actions in response aroused deep suspicion of Washington among many Latin Americans for years to come. .
In 1970, he conspired with the CIA on the best way to destabilize and overthrow the Marxist but democratically elected president of Chile, Salvador Allende, while in a memo after Argentina’s bloody 1976 coup, the military He said dictators should be encouraged.
When Ford lost to Democrat Jimmy Carter in 1976, Kissinger’s time in the government power room was all but over. The incoming Republican in the White House, Ronald Reagan, distanced himself from Kissinger, seeing him as out of step with his conservative base.
After leaving office, Kissinger founded an expensive and powerful consulting firm in New York that advised the world’s business elite. He served on corporate boards and various foreign policy and security forums, wrote books, and became a regular media commentator on international issues.
After the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, President George W. Bush appointed Kissinger to chair a commission of inquiry. But Mr. Kissinger was forced to resign over protests from Democrats who saw him as having a conflict of interest with many of the consulting firm’s clients.
He divorced his first wife, Anne Fleischer, in 1964, and married Nancy McGuinness, an aide to New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller, in 1974. Two children were born to his first wife.
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