(RepublicanNews.org) – Henry Kissinger, the divisive diplomat who helped bring the United States out of Vietnam and opened relations with China, has died at the age of 100.
Born in Nazi Germany, Kissinger fled Adolf Hitler’s antisemitic regime in the 1930s with his family. Four decades later, Kissinger was one of America’s most influential men during a prolonged period of foreign tension.
Over eight years, Kissinger served as national security advisor before becoming Secretary of State in the 1970s. During this time, he served President Richard Nixon during the Watergate scandal, with his expertise leading to his successor Gerald Ford retaining him under his own administration.
Kissinger’s advocacy of ‘Realpolitik’ influenced his approach to foreign policy by aiming for achievable, practical objectives rather than idealistic fantasies often promised by politicians to voters.
Through “shuttle diplomacy”, Kissinger sought to ease tensions in the Middle East. He also opened the doors of communication to the communist Chinese government, which was not recognized by the United Nations until 1971.
In Paris, Kissinger negotiated a means for the U.S. to end its operations in Vietnam two years before Saigon fell to the communists. Perhaps most importantly for world peace, however, Kissinger pursued a policy of détente with the Soviet Union, limiting the threat of nuclear war and the belief that the Cold War-era tensions would not last indefinitely.
Nevertheless, his legacy has never been universally acclaimed. His critics called for prosecution for alleged war crimes during U.S. involvement in foreign conflicts and lambasted his policies to combat the emergence of military dictatorships in South America and the rule of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia.
Perhaps his importance can be better assessed in his post-White House career. Through his consultancy firm, Kissinger regularly advised Republican and Democratic leaders alike on foreign affairs. In the last months before his death, he met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and spoke on the horrific attack by Hamas on October 7th.
Henry Kissinger, at the age of 100, died peacefully at his home in Connecticut on Wednesday, November 29th, 2023.
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