On Saturday, Henry Kissinger, a former diplomat, and presidential advisor, turns 100.
He has outlived many of his political contemporaries who helped lead the United States through some of its most turbulent times, including the presidency of Richard Nixon and the Vietnam War.
On May 27, 1923, Kissinger was born in Germany.
He is still well-known for his significant contribution to American foreign policy during the 1960s and 1970s, including efforts to eventually remove the United States from Vietnam.
However, this wasn’t until he was irrevocably linked to many of the conflict’s most contentious activities.
The centennial of David Kissinger’s birth “might have an air of inevitability for anyone familiar with his force of character and love of historical symbolism,” David Kissinger wrote in The Washington Post on Thursday.
He has not only lived longer than the majority of his contemporaries, notable critics, and pupils, but he has also kept up his unflagging activity far into his nineties.
According to David Kissinger, the senior Kissinger will commemorate this week with trips to New York, London, and his native Fürth, Germany.
Kissinger has remained influential among Washington’s decision-makers as an aging statesman in recent years.
He maintains an international consultancy firm through which he gives presentations in German and has advised Republican and Democratic leaders, including the White House, during the Trump administration.
Kissinger stated that China’s entry into negotiations signals a turning point in the Ukraine war.
He has called for peace via bargaining to end the violence and told CBS News that he anticipates negotiations to reach a climax “by the end of the year.”
Kissinger has cautioned nations to prepare for the potential problems linked with the technology.
He also co-authored a book about artificial intelligence in 2021 titled “The Age of AI: And Our Human Future.”
Kissinger participated in significant foreign policy events during his eight years as a national security adviser and secretary of state, including the first instance of “shuttle diplomacy” to bring about peace in the Middle East and covert talks with China to thaw relations between the two countries.
As the remaining American servicemen departed what is now Ho Chi Minh City, Kissinger, and Nixon faced the brunt of the blame from American friends when North Vietnamese communist forces seized Saigon in 1975.
Kissinger was also charged with directing the conflict’s spread into Laos and Cambodia, which helped the genocidal Khmer Rouge dictatorship rise to power and slaughter an estimated 2 million Cambodians.
In addition to receiving praise, Kissinger was acknowledged as a critical player in the detente era, a diplomatic endeavor between the United States and the Soviet Union from 1967 to 1979 to ease Cold War tensions through trade and armaments talks, particularly the Strategic armaments Limitation Talks accords.
Throughout Nixon’s presidency (1969–1974), Kissinger remained one of the 37th president’s most dependable advisors, and the Watergate scandal that brought down Nixon further increased his influence.
Kissinger received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Gerald Ford in 1977, who took over as president when his predecessor resigned, noting that Kissinger “wielded America’s great power with wisdom and compassion in the service of peace.”
Others have charged that throughout his time in Washington, Kissinger was more interested in power than peace, implementing realpolitik measures that favored American interests while supporting or bolstering oppressive regimes in Pakistan, Chile, and Indonesia.