Henry Kissinger

Stories by Henry Kissinger

  • Henry Kissinger on Nuclear Proliferation

    As nations like Iran and North Korea seek to develop atomic weapons, the chances of a calamity are rising dramatically. Here's how to lower them.
  • ANATOMY OF A CRISIS

    Early on Saturday morning, Oct. 6, 1973, as Israelis celebrate their holiest day of Yom Kippur, Kissinger is awakened in a New York hotel room. He is informed that Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir had just privately warned the Americans that Egypt and Syria are about to wage a surprise attack on Israel. Couldn't the United States forestall the attack by reassuring the Arabs about Israeli intentions? Kissinger is worried that the Americans, siding with Israel, will be thrown into confrontation with the Soviets, who will back their Arab allies. He calls the Soviet ambassador, Anatoly Dobrynin:KISSINGER: The Israelis are telling us that Egypt and Syria are planning an attack very shortly and that your people are evacuating from Damascus and Cairo.... If the reason for your evacuation... is the fear of an Israeli attack, then the Israelis are asking us to tell you, as well as asking us to tell the Arabs... they have no plans whatever to attack.... But if the Egyptians and Syrians do...
  • Face To Face With China

    At this writing negotiations between American and Chinese officials are said to be moving toward a climax. The formal obstacle is whether China will continue to insist on an apology or whether it will settle for the expressions of regret of both Secretary of State Colin Powell and President George W. Bush. Yet the body language on both sides suggests that neither nation wants a prolonged confrontation. Chinese statements are calibrated to make what the Chinese leadership likes to call its "principled stand" clear to a domestic audience. But the rhetoric does not foreclose an outcome respecting the American view that what occurred was an accident, not a provocation. Since the factual basis for the dispute depends on whether the American plane was over Chinese territory and which plane made the final turn leading to the collision, a reasonable outcome would be the release of the crew and a joint statement reiterating each side's version of events and establishing some fact-finding...
  • The Long Shadow Of Vietnam

    Not too long ago, former president Gerald Ford and I were reminiscing about his presidency and our experiences in government service. We agreed that the high points have a way of becoming blurred with the passage of time. But we shared one experience that will never lose its immediacy: the pain and anguish of the day when the last Americans and a pitiful band of refugees were evacuated from the roof of the U.S. Embassy in Saigon.Movies and television present great crises as times of frenetic activity, with officious aides ripping telephones off the hook and shouting instructions to scurrying subordinates. In reality, crises are distinguished by a stillness born of the awareness that choices are disappearing. The number of decision makers shrinks to those still in a position to affect events, their solitude magnified because, the more severe the crisis, the fewer the volunteers who are willing to assume responsibility.On that final day in April 1975, Ford and I were quite alone: he...
  • Empty Title

    Those of us who questioned the wisdom of the diplomacy preceding the war over Kosovo owe it to the Clinton administration to express our respect for the fortitude with which it persevered, and the skill with which it buttressed Allied unity and achieved Russian acquiescence. But victory leaves us with just as severe a challenge: to avoid being permanently mired in a corner of the Balkans as the modern equivalent of the Ottoman and Austrian empires. The so-called Petersberg plan risks turning into an open-ended commitment toward ever deeper involvement, casting us in the role of gendarme of a region of passionate hatreds and where we have few strategic interests. ...