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Posts Tagged ‘Henry Kissinger’

KISSINGER: World Order Crumbling

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on August 31, 2014

Old Global leader Henry Kissinger on the Assembly of a New World Order
The concept that has underpinned the modern geopolitical era is in crisis

To play a responsible role in the evolution of a 21st-century world order, the U.S. must be prepared to answer a number of questions for itself: What do we seek to prevent, no matter how it happens, and if necessary alone? What do we seek to achieve, even if not supported by any multilateral effort? What do we seek to achieve, or prevent, only if supported by an alliance? What should we not engage in, even if urged on by a multilateral group or an alliance? What is the nature of the values that we seek to advance? And how much does the application of these values depend on circumstance?

 

By HENRY KISSINGER

The concept of order that has underpinned the modern era is in crisis, writes Henry Kissinger. Above, a pro-Russian fighter stands guard at a checkpoint close to Donetsk, Ukraine in July. European Pressphoto Agency

The concept of order that has underpinned the modern era is in crisis, writes Henry Kissinger. Above, a pro-Russian fighter stands guard at a checkpoint close to Donetsk, Ukraine in July. European Pressphoto Agency

Henry KissingerLibya is in civil war, fundamentalist armies are building a self-declared caliphate across Syria and Iraq and Afghanistan’s young democracy is on the verge of paralysis. To these troubles are added a resurgence of tensions with Russia and a relationship with China divided between pledges of cooperation and public recrimination. The concept of order that has underpinned the modern era is in crisis.

The search for world order has long been defined almost exclusively by the concepts of Western societies. In the decades following World War II, the U.S.—strengthened in its economy and national confidence—began to take up the torch of international leadership and added a new dimension. A nation founded explicitly on an idea of free and representative governance, the U.S. identified its own rise with the spread of liberty and democracy and credited these forces with an ability to achieve just and lasting peace. The traditional European approach to order had viewed peoples and states as inherently competitive; to constrain the effects of their clashing ambitions, it relied on a balance of power and a concert of enlightened statesmen. The prevalent American view considered people inherently reasonable and inclined toward peaceful compromise and common sense; the spread of democracy was therefore the overarching goal for international order. Free markets would uplift individuals, enrich societies and substitute economic interdependence for traditional international rivalries. Read the rest of this entry »

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Nobel Prize: A tale of ignoble peace laureates

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 11, 2012

One man introduced indefinite detention and expanded the deadly global drone war. Another was the architect of the deliberate mass killing of civilian populations in Indochina. What do they have in common? Both are Nobel Peace laureates.

Gandhi never got one. Al Gore did. In one of the stranger ironies befitting of both Kafka and Orwell, sometimes the makers of permanent war are awarded for bringing temporary peace. Sometimes they don’t even get that far.

With the winner of the 2012 Nobel Prize set to be announced in Oslo, Norway on Friday, the shadow of Barack Obama still looms large. In 2009, the committee awarded the current US president “for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.” Nominations for the award are due by February 1, meaning Obama had served as America’s executive for less than two weeks when the Norwegian Nobel Committee selected him. Perhaps it was wishful thinking.

Since then, Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act into law, making it legal to indefinitely detain US citizens. There are also the deadly drone wars in Yemen and Pakistan, the war waged in Libya, the Afghan surge and a secret “kill list” revealed this year by The New York Times, which grants a select few American officials the option to mark perceived national security threats – foreign citizens or otherwise – for assassination. Ironic, yes, but they never could have known.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Xi Visits Washington: What the U.S. Can Expect from China’s Next Leader

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on February 14, 2012

Pairoj / AFP / Getty Images

PAIROJ / AFP / GETTY IMAGES
Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping waves to students during a visit to Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok on Dec. 24, 2011

In January, China’s Vice President Xi Jinping helmed a commemoration of the 40thanniversary of U.S. President Richard Nixon’s landmark trip to China. Nixon’s visit ended with the triumphant issuing on Feb. 28, 1972 of the Shanghai Communiqué, a delicate diplomatic accord that began the process of normalizing relations between two nations that “cannot live without each other today,” as Niu Jun, a Peking University professor who specializes in the U.S.-China relationship, puts it. (Chinese state media never quite explained why these 40th anniversary celebrations were marked a month early.) But Xi, who is expected to take over some leadership duties from current Chinese President Hu Jintao this fall, gave a rather tame, tedious speech as he honored the world’s most important bilateral relationship: “Ultimate caution should be given to major and sensitive issues that concern each country’s core interests to avoid any distraction and setbacks in China-U.S. relations.”

Will Xi show a little more ardor when he spends his first full day in Washington on Valentine’s Day, his virgin foray to the U.S. as China’s presumptive leader? (Xi’s Feb. 13-17 U.S. trip will also include stops in California and Iowa, the latter which he visited 27 years ago as part of an agricultural delegation.) On Monday night, after having arrived at Andrews Air Force Base earlier in the afternoon, Xi (pronounced “Shee”) met with, among others, Henry Kissinger, the former U.S. Secretary of State who was instrumental in facilitating Nixon’s groundbreaking China tour four decades ago. The meeting, along with the fact that high-level summits between American and Chinese leaders are now routine, points to the remarkable evolution of the two powers’ diplomatic relationship. Read the rest of this entry »

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