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Henry Kissinger, Influential Diplomat of Cold War Era, Passes Away at Age 100

Henry Kissinger, a highly influential U.S. diplomat during the Cold War era, known for his involvement in opening relations with China, negotiating arms control agreements with the Soviet Union, and ending the Vietnam War, has passed away at the age of 100. Kissinger Associates, his geopolitical consulting firm, confirmed his death at his home in Connecticut.

Credit: DepositPhotos

Kissinger’s political career reached its peak in the 1970s, during the height of the Cold War, when he served as national security adviser and secretary of state under President Richard Nixon.

He continued to play a significant role in diplomacy as secretary of state under Nixon’s successor, President Gerald Ford. Kissinger is credited with shaping U.S. foreign policy through initiatives such as the U.S. opening to China, arms control talks with the Soviet Union, the Paris Peace Accords with North Vietnam, and the expansion of ties between Israel and its Arab neighbors.

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While Kissinger was praised by many for his intelligence and strategic skills, he also faced criticism and accusations of being a war criminal for his support of anti-communist dictatorships, particularly in Latin America. In his later years, he faced travel restrictions and inquiries from various countries regarding past U.S. foreign policy decisions.

President Joe Biden, despite his disagreements with Kissinger, acknowledged his abilities and said his “fierce intellect and profound strategic focus was evident.” Other world leaders, like Russian President Vladimir Putin and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, also paid tribute to Kissinger’s statesmanship. However, Bangladeshi Foreign Minister Abdul Momen criticized Kissinger for his role in the 1971 war between West and East Pakistan.

Kissinger’s career began at Harvard University, where he earned a doctorate and later served on the faculty for 17 years. During this time, he also worked as a consultant for government agencies and played a role in peace negotiations with North Vietnam during Lyndon Johnson’s administration.

Credit: DepositPhotos

As national security adviser under President Nixon, Kissinger was involved in the Vietnam War and implemented the policy of “Vietnamization.” Despite his declaration of peace being at hand, the Paris Peace Accords were followed by the Communist takeover of South Vietnam two years later.

Kissinger’s tenure as secretary of state included notable diplomatic achievements such as brokering a disengagement agreement between Israel and Syria and initiating a dialogue with China that ultimately led to diplomatic relations. However, he faced criticism for his handling of the India-Pakistan War and for supporting military dictatorships in Latin America.

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After leaving government, Kissinger established a prestigious consulting firm and remained active in international affairs, serving on boards, writing books, and offering media commentary. He faced controversy when appointed to lead an investigative committee after the 9/11 attacks due to conflicts of interest.

Kissinger’s legacy will be remembered, with a memorial service in New York and his burial at Arlington National Cemetery.

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