WASHINGTON (Dispatches) – Washington is on the brink of war with Moscow and Beijing, says former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.
“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,” he noted in an interview with the Wall Street Journal.
According to Kissinger Washington rejected traditional diplomacy and, in the absence of a great leader, brought the world to the abyss of war over Ukraine and Taiwan. The former U.S. Secretary of State noted that “the only thing that can be done is not to escalate tension and create options, and for this there must be some purpose.”
Kissinger, who in the late 1960s and early 1970s engaged in extensive negotiations with the Vietnamese communists even as the U.S. military was at war against them, said that modern American leaders tend to view diplomacy as having a personal relationship with the enemy and tend to view negotiations from a missionary rather than a psychological point of view, seeking to convert or condemn their interlocutors rather than penetrate their thoughts.
Instead, he said, the U.S. should look for a “balance” between itself, Russia and China.
The term refers to a kind of balance of power with the legitimacy of sometimes opposing values, Kissinger explained.
The lack of visionary leadership in the United States is also to blame for the tense geopolitical situation, he added.
Kissinger cites the examples of Ukraine and NATO. Even before the war began, he caused a stir when he suggested that reckless policies of the U.S. and NATO could trigger a conflict in Ukraine.
Kissinger said that Ukraine is a collection of territories that once belonged to Russia. Stability would be better if Ukraine acts as a buffer between Russia and the West. “I was for the complete independence of Ukraine, but I thought her best role would be something like Finland,” he told the Wall Street Journal.
Now the die has been cast: “I am now of the opinion,” said Kissinger, “that Ukraine should be treated as a member of NATO in one way or another, officially or not.” How will the war end? Kissinger hopes for an agreement in which Russia will maintain its 2014 conquest of Crimea and parts of the Donbass region.
This summer, Kissinger was sharply criticized by Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky for his suggestion that Kyiv should accept a return to the “status quo”, that is, to the previous state. Kyiv should give up its territorial claims in Crimea, grant autonomy to Donetsk and Lugansk – and strike a peace deal with Russia to prevent World War III.
According to Kissinger, Washington has a major role to play here, although he is not aware of that. The U.S. must strive for a “balance” between itself, Russia and China.
Kissinger uses the term “balance”, which is “a kind of balance of power, which sometimes involves an acknowledgment of the validity of conflicting values. Because if you believe that the end result of your efforts should be the assertion of your values , so I don’t think a balance is possible.”
Under President Richard Nixon, Kissinger planned American diplomatic efforts toward China in the 1970s. These were aimed at separating Beijing from Moscow and shifting the balance of power in the world in favor of the Communist East.
According to Kissinger, the U.S. is no longer able to side with Russia or China on the other side. “All you can do is not to accelerate the stress and make choices, and for that you have to have a goal.”