Henry Kissinger, Iraq war backer, lectures world on how to avoid WWIII
Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger explores the option of diplomacy two decades too late.
Henry Kissinger, former US State Secretary, wrote an article in The Spectator shining the light on the lead-up and repercussions of World War One on the world, mainly Europe. He uses history to lecture current world leaders on means of avoiding another World War in light of the Ukraine war and the tensions sparking up between the East and the West as countries rally to support either side of the war.
"Diplomacy became the road less traveled," Kissinger wrote, citing Philip Zelikow's book The Road Less Travelled. Kissinger's bigotry shines through the lines he weaved in his article, as he did not resort to diplomacy, as the head of Washington's diplomatic faction formerly, when it came to the Iraq war, habitually meeting up with then-President George W. Bush and his Vice President Dick Cheney to give them insight and advice on the Iraq war.
Kissinger's advocacy of the Iraq war, which lead to countless deaths over the past two decades through US occupation of the country, seemed to dwindle in his latest article, as he seems to be an advocate of diplomacy now instead, treaties instead of arms and negotiation tables rather than carpet bombings.
"The time is approaching to build on the strategic changes which have already been accomplished and to integrate them into a new structure towards achieving peace through negotiation," the notorious war advocate said, asking if the world found itself at a turning point in Ukraine as it did back in the lead up to WWI.
He highlighted how the ongoing war in Ukraine gave rise to the issue of Ukraine becoming a NATO member state, underlining how it acquired "one of the largest and most effective land armies in Europe" and it is now at a point where a peace process would likely enable Kiev to sit at the same table as the other 30 members of the alliance.
He also went on to say that neutrality was no longer a valid alternative, recalling how Sweden and Finland both became NATO members and explaining that this was the reason he suggested a ceasefire between Russia and Ukraine along the borders existing where the war broke out. "The territory ['occupied by Russia'] could be the subject of a negotiation after a ceasefire," he added.
If the borders that existed before the war could not be brought back through either talks or combat, Kissinger suggested, the parties to the war should explore the principle of self-determination, with referenda being held on "particularly divisive territories" that were not under a singular entity throughout time, going back and forth between several states.
The former top diplomat said a peace process should strive to "confirm the freedom of Ukraine" and "define a new international structure" within which Russia can find a place of its own.
He did, however, underline that he did not want Russia rendered impotent by the war, acknowledging how the federation has been a key contributor to the balance of power for centuries. "The dissolution of Russia or destroying its ability for strategic policy could turn its territory encompassing 11 time zones into a contested vacuum," Kissinger stressed.
"[...] these dangers would be compounded by the presence of thousands of nuclear weapons which make Russia one of the world's two largest nuclear powers," he wrote.
It would seem that he learned from the political vacuum he played a role in creating in Iraq for him to highlight his beliefs in such a manner.
Furthermore, he went into the future of the current standstill the world is at, with the world wanting an end to the war in which two nuclear states "contest a conventionally armed country, touching on AI and autonomous weapons, which he said were capable of defining, assessing, and targeting their own perceived threats and are "in a position to start their own war."
Kissinger wrote that the world would be in an unprecedented position, with hi-tech weapons becoming the standard and every strategic or tactical move being taken by an AI. "How can civilisation be preserved amid such a maelstrom of conflicting information, perceptions and destructive capabilities?" he asked.
The former State Secretary urged the world to overcome the status quo it is currently in, highlighting how advanced technologies and the concepts of controlling them were as important as climate change - but perhaps he had no regard for the climate when hundreds of bombs and missiles were landing in Iraq on a daily basis - bringing up the need for leaders with a historical and technological background.
"The quest for peace and order has two components that are sometimes treated as contradictory," Kissinger concluded, saying the components in question were the pursuit of security and the need of reconciliation. "If we cannot achieve both, we will not be able to reach either."
Diplomacy, an option abandoned by the US when it came to its invasions of Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, and Somalia, is needed, as it is a requirement, Kissinger underlined.