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Ex US diplomat, Henry Kissinger turns 100 and Still Involved in international Affairs

Henry Kissinger

BERLIN, GERMANY - JANUARY 21: Former United States Secretary of State and National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger attends the ceremony for the Henry A. Kissinger Prize on January 21, 2020 in Berlin, Germany. The annual prize is awarded by the American Academy in Berlin for "outstanding service" to transatlantic relations. The 2019 edition of the award was given to German Chancellor Angela Merkel. (Photo by Adam Berry/Getty Images)

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.

According to a Thursday article by David Kissinger in The Washington Post, his father’s 100th birthday “may have an air of inevitability for anybody familiar with his force of character and love of historical significance. In addition to outliving the majority of his contemporaries, notable critics, and pupils, he also kept going strong into his nineties.

The senior Kissinger will celebrate this week by traveling to his hometown of Fürth, Germany, as well as New York City and London. author David Kissinger.

As an aging statesman, Henry Kissinger has remained influential among Washington’s decision-makers in recent years. He maintains an international consultancy company through which he gives speeches in the German accent he has not lost since fleeing the Nazi regime with his family when he was a teenager. He has advised Republican and Democratic presidents, including the White House during the Trump administration.

Kissinger stated this month that China’s entry into negotiations signals a turning point in the Ukraine war. He stated to CBS News that he anticipates the negotiations to reach a conclusion “by the end of the year.” He has advocated for negotiating a settlement to the issue.

The Age of AI: And Our Human Future, a book about artificial intelligence co-authored by Henry Kissinger, was published in 2021. Governments should be ready for any risks that could come with the technology, he has advised.

Henry Kissinger participated in significant foreign policy events during his eight years as national security adviser and secretary of state, including the first instance of “shuttle diplomacy” to bring about peace in the Middle East, covert talks to thaw relations between the two emerging superpowers, and the instigation of the Paris peace talks to put an end to the Vietnam War and American military presence there.

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 key 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), Henry Kissinger remained one of the 37th president’s most dependable advisors, and the Watergate scandal that brought down Nixon further increased his influence.

Henry 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.

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