Former Secretary of State and National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger’s new book World Order is getting lots of favorable press and publicity. Our media treat him as something approaching royalty, with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria calling him “the elder statesman of American diplomacy.” He certainly has been around a long time. But has Kissinger been right or wrong about the major foreign policy issues of our time?
You may remember that Kissinger in 2009 insisted that President Obama could create a New World Order and that he had a good foreign policy team. He made these comments on CNBC during a “celebration” of 30 years of diplomatic relations between the U.S. and China.
Bill Gertz’s book, The China Threat, explained how Kissinger “played the key role” in the talks that led President Nixon in 1972 to establish informal ties with China, that ultimately led to formal diplomatic relations in 1979. Kissinger insisted that China had abandoned communism, and was no longer a threat.
The threat from China is growing daily. The new book, The Russia-China Axis: The New Cold War and America’s Crisis of Leadership, by Douglas E. Schoen and Melik Kaylan, examines some recent developments. As noted by analyst Toby Westerman, however, Russia and China actually declared their own version of a “New World Order” in 1997.
A recent article in the Bejing Review, “An Evolving Partnership,” goes back even further, noting that China and Russia signed a joint statement on “the foundation for bilateral ties” in 1992, and established a “partnership of strategic coordination” in 1996.
After that, the author notes:
- In 2001, China and Russia signed the Treaty of Good-Neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation.
- In February 2013, China and Russia signed a joint statement to “deepen their comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination,” thereby “bringing bilateral relationship to an unprecedented level.”
Emphasizing that Russia and China currently enjoy a “very high level of relations characterized as [a] strategic partnership,” Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev says Russia and China are expected to sign more than 40 “very important bilateral documents” this week, on the occasion of the 19th regular meeting between Chinese and Russian prime ministers.
Today, Russia, China, Brazil, South Africa and India are members of the BRICS alliance of nations, which is designed to undermine U.S. economic, financial, and military dominance in the world.
A proposed Russia-South Africa nuclear deal has gotten the attention of South African Democracy Alliance leader Helen Zille, who says, “President [Jacob] Zuma has been to Russia on numerous occasions over the past 18 months. What were the details of these visits? Why were they so secretive? And why has Zuma clearly given preferential access to himself for the Russians, in the absence of witnesses or experts in nuclear energy? What are the incentives attached?”
Zuma, like his predecessors, was (or still is) a member of the South African Communist Party, brought to power through the African National Congress (ANC) with the support of the Soviet Union and Communist China.
Henry Kissinger’s speaking appearance on Wednesday at a meeting of the U.S.-Russia Business Council in New York City is more evidence of how “the elder statesman” has been wrong about key developments.
Zakaria’s CNN show has reported that Kissinger’s firm, Kissinger Associates, Inc., does business in Russia, while Bill Gertz has said that Kissinger used “his extensive access to Chinese leaders to help his consulting business flourish.”
The firm, however, has no website and its complete client list is secret. In 2002, as he was facing questions about potential conflicts of interest, Kissinger resigned as chairman of the September 11th commission. His personal website notes affiliations with think tanks and some companies.
He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1973 for his work on the so-called Vietnam Peace Accords that ultimately resulted in a communist takeover of Vietnam and the genocide in neighboring Cambodia, after a liberal U.S. Congress voted to defund the anti-communist war effort. The communist North Vietnamese had been armed by China and the Soviet Union.
Kissinger wrote the foreword to the 2002 book, The New Russian Diplomacy, by Russian official Igor S. Ivanov, in which Kissinger discussed how Russia and the U.S. “have a rare opportunity to work together in building a new international system.”
During one of several meetings they have held together, Russian President Vladimir Putin said of Kissinger, “We have a very old, friendly relationship.” Kissinger and former Russian Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov chaired a working group on U.S.-Russian relations in 2007. The following year, Russia invaded Georgia, a former Soviet republic.
Nevertheless, even after the invasion of Ukraine, Kissinger remains in Putin’s camp, telling Zakaria on CNN on September 14 that “one has to understand that for Russia, Ukraine can never be just another country. It is believed that Ukraine is an integral part of the Russian patrimony.” In other words, under Russia’s control.
There goes the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, guaranteed by Moscow in the 1994 Budapest Memorandum.
Kissinger told Zakaria that he proposes “some initiative from the White House for a quiet dialogue with Putin about where we are both trying to go…” The word “quiet” means keeping the details of the sell-out from the American people.
But much is being done out in the open. The corporate sponsors of the U.S.-Russia Business Council meeting are some of the biggest names, including ExxonMobil, Microsoft, PepsiCo, Ford, BP, Caterpillar, Chevron, Citi, Alcoa, Pfizer, Visa and Coca-Cola.
Kissinger has been consistently wrong about world events, and his mistakes have already cost the United States dearly. Our enemies and adversaries are on the march.
Yet, The New York Times notes that his new book contains “no direct criticism of the Obama administration…” Perhaps Kissinger is continuing to advise Obama’s former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
The Washington Post asked Mrs. Clinton to review the book. She wrote, “Kissinger is a friend, and I relied on his counsel when I served as secretary of state. He checked in with me regularly, sharing astute observations about foreign leaders and sending me written reports on his travels.”
It’s no wonder we are losing.