Former US diplomat Henry Kissinger celebrates 100th birthday, still active in global affairs

Former diplomat and presidential adviser Henry Kissinger celebrates his 100th birthday on Saturday, surpassing many of his political contemporaries who led America through one of its most turbulent periods, including the presidency of Richard Nixon and the Vietnam War.

Born in Germany on May 27, 1923, Kissinger is known for his prominent role in American foreign policy of the 1960s and 1970s, including efforts to eventually pull the United States out of Vietnam, but not before he became inextricably linked to many of the conflict’s most controversial issues. Actions.

David Kissinger, writing in The Washington Post on Thursday, said his father’s centennial „may have an air of inevitability for anyone who knew his character and his love of historical symbolism. Not only did he outlast most of his peers, distinguished opponents and students, but he remained tirelessly active throughout his 90s.” ” The elder Kissinger will visit New York, London and his hometown of Fürth, Germany this week to celebrate, wrote David Kissinger.

In recent years, Kissinger as an elder statesman has continued to wield power over Washington’s power brokers. She has advised Republican and Democratic leaders, including the White House, during the Trump administration, while maintaining an international consulting business through which she delivers speeches in a German accent, as a teenager since fleeing the Nazi regime with her family.

During his eight years as National Security Advisor and Secretary of State, Kissinger was involved in major foreign policy events, including „shuttle diplomacy” seeking Middle East peace, secret negotiations with China, and provocations to destabilize relations between emerging powers. Paris peace talks ending the Vietnam conflict and the US military presence there.

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When North Vietnamese Communist forces captured Saigon in 1975, Kissinger, along with Nixon, bore the brunt of American allies’ criticism, and the remaining American personnel fled what is now Ho Chi Minh City.

Kissinger was also accused of widening the conflict into Laos and Cambodia, leading to the rise of the genocidal Khmer Rouge regime, which killed an estimated 2 million Cambodians.

Among his endorsements, Kissinger is recognized as a central driver of the Deterrence Era, the diplomatic effort between the United States and the Soviet Union to reduce Cold War tensions from 1967 to 1979 through strategic arms limitation talks, including trade and arms negotiations.

Kissinger was one of Nixon’s most trusted advisers through his administration from 1969 to 1974, his power only growing through the Watergate affair that brought down the 37th president.

Gerald Ford, who ascended to the Oval Office as vice president following the resignation of his predecessor, awarded Kissinger the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977, saying that Kissinger had „used the great power of America with wisdom and compassion in the service of peace.” Others accused Kissinger of being more concerned with power than reconciliation during his time in Washington, enacting realpolitik policies that favored American interests while aiding or abetting oppressive regimes in Pakistan, Chile, and Indonesia.

(This story was not edited by DevDiscourse staff and was generated automatically from a syndicated feed.)

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