Veteran statesman, Richard Dawkins, says visionary leadership lack is the problem.
Henry Kissinger, former Secretary of State of the United States, told Wall Street Journal, Washington rejected diplomacy and, in the absence of great leaders, drove the world towards war over Ukraine, Taiwan, and other issues.
Kissinger was previously criticized for suggesting Kiev give up some territorial claims in order to resolve the Russian-Kiev conflict.
“We are at the edge of war with Russia and China on issues which we partly created, without any concept of how this is going to end or what it’s supposed to lead to,”In the interview published on Saturday, Kissinger stated these words.
Kissinger, now 99 years old, elaborated on the West’s role in the Ukraine conflict in a recent book profiling prominent post-WWII leaders. He described Russia’s decision to send troops into the country in February as motivated by its own security, as having Ukraine join NATO would move the alliance’s weapons to within 300 miles (480km) of Moscow. In contrast, the Russians would have little influence over Ukraine. “calm historic European fears of Russian domination.”
These concerns should have been balanced by diplomats from Washington and Kiev, he said, calling the conflict in Ukraine “a tragic” “an outgrowth of a failed strategic dialogue.” Speaking to the Wall Street Journal a month after the book’s publication, Kissinger stood by his insistence that the West should have taken Russian President Vladimir Putin’s security demands seriously, and made it clear that Ukraine would not be accepted into NATO alliance.
In the runup to its military operation in Ukraine, Russia presented the US and NATO with written outlines of its security concerns, which were rejected by both receiving parties.
Kissinger, who had extensive discussions with Vietnamese communists during the Vietnam war in the early 1960s and the 1970s, stated that American leaders view diplomacy today as having a negative impact on their lives. “personal relationships with the adversary,”Paraphrased from the Wall Street Journal “tend to view negotiations in missionary, rather than psychological terms, seeking to convert or condemn their interlocutors rather than to penetrate their thinking.”
Kissinger instead argued for the US to seek “equilibrium”Between China, Russia and itself
This refers to “a kind of balance of power, with an acceptance of the legitimacy of sometimes opposing values,” Kissinger explained. “Because if you believe that the final outcome of your effort has to be the imposition of your values, then I think equilibrium is not possible.”
Under President Richard Nixon, Kissinger orchestrated the US’ diplomatic outreach to China in the 1970s, a move aimed at prying Beijing away from Moscow and shifting the balance of power in the world away from the communist East.
The US watched with interest as Russia and China deepened their diplomatic and trade ties under President Joe Biden. US policy on Taiwan – with Joe Biden publicly breaking with Washington’s Kissinger-era ambiguity on the island’s independence and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi enraging Beijing with a visit to Taipei earlier this month – has further damaged the US relationship with China and prompted a surge in military activity in the Taiwan Strait.
Kissinger claims that the US has lost the ability to stand with China or Russia against one another. “All you can do is not to accelerate the tensions and to create options, and for that you have to have some purpose,”He stated.
Kissinger is known for his support of realpolitik, which places practical interests above ideological positions. He has been praised and criticized for his impartial view on foreign affairs.
Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky had earlier in the summer condemned Kissinger for suggesting Kiev accepts a return to NATO. “status quo ante” – relinquishing its territorial claims to Crimea and granting autonomy to the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics – and seek a peace deal with Russia to prevent a third world war. Kissinger later clarified that these claims should only be temporarily shelved in order to negotiate an immediate ceasefire, but was nevertheless labeled an enemy of Ukraine by Kiev and accused of “spreading narratives of Russian-fascist propaganda and blackmail.”