Business & EconomyHenry Kissinger turns 100

Henry Kissinger turns 100

Former United States diplomat Henry Kissinger celebrated his 100th birthday on May 27. Kissinger guided the US through Richard Nixon’s presidency as well as the Vietnam War.

He was born on May 27, 1923 in Germany and was instrumental in developing America foreign policy in the 60s and 70s. He has continued over the years to provide advice to Republican and Democratic presidents including the Trump administration.

Kissinger fled the Nazi regime with his family when he was a teenager. He also continued to maintain a consulting business later in his career. He recently told CBS News that where the Ukraine war is concerned he expects negotiations to come to a head by the end of the year.

Kissinger and AI

The diplomat co-authored a book about artificial intelligence in 2021 called ‘The Age of AI: And Our Human Future.’ He warned governments to prepare for the potential risks associated with the technology.

Some of the biggest foreign policy events that he took part in include the Middle Eastern peace negotiations, secret negotiations with China to defrost relations between superpowers and the instigation of the Paris peace talks seeking an end to the Vietnam conflict and the US military’s presence.

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Kissinger together with Nixon also had to face up to massive condemnation when North Vietnamese communist forces took Saigon in 1975 as US personnel fled Ho Chi Minh City. He was instrumental in prolonging the Vietnam War and making the conflict extend into Laos and Cambodia. When Kissinger ordered the carpet bombing of the country from 1969 onwards, he also backed leaders in Pakistan and Indonesia as each killed 200,000 people in neighbouring countries.

The diplomat celebrated his birthday at the Economic Club of New York in midtown Manhattan. He spoke for an hour at the event touching on the Russian war, China and US foreign policy.

No Apologies

“My view is, we need to be always strong enough to resist any pressures. We must always be ready to defend what we define as our vital interests. We must also be clear about what our vital interests are and stay within those bounds.

“In almost every administration in foreign policy, the most sensitive tasks are given to the security adviser and not the Secretary of State,” he said.

Kissinger will go down in history for never having apologized for some of his extremely damaging actions and it is said that he paved the way for a similar style of administration and reluctance to apologise that was practiced by the likes of Ronald Reagan, George Bush and Donald Trump.

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