Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger Passes Away at Age 100 During Richard Nixon’s Presidency

Henry Kissinger
, the former secretary of state under Richard Nixon who became one of the most prominent and controversial figures of US foreign policy in the 20th century, has passed away at the age of 100.

His consulting firm, Kissinger Associates announced his death in a statement on Wednesday evening, without disclosing a cause.

A giant of the Republican party, Kissinger remained influential until the end of his life, largely due to the founding of his geopolitical consulting firm in New York City in 1982, as well as the authorship of several books on international affairs.

Kissinger was initially a Harvard academic before assuming the role of national security adviser when Nixon won the White House in 1968. Working closely with the president, he played a significant role in pivotal decisions involving the Vietnam war, including the secret bombing of Cambodia in 1969 and 1970, as part of what Nixon called the “madman theory”, an effort to intimidate North Vietnam into ending the war.

As secretary of state, Kissinger ultimately achieved peace in Vietnam, though only after initiating a heavy bombing campaign at Christmas in 1972 while peace talks were ongoing.

He survived Nixon’s downfall in the Watergate scandal and served Gerald Ford, leaving government after Jimmy Carter’s election win in 1976. Kissinger’s policy towards the Soviet Union was not aggressive enough for the Reagan administration, eliminating any possibility of a comeback in the 1980s.

On the political and intellectual right and left, Kissinger’s legacy varies.

On the right, he is seen as a brilliant statesman, a master diplomat, an exponent of power politics deployed to the benefit of America, the country to which his family fled on leaving Germany in 1938.

On the left, hostility persists over his involvement in Chile, where the CIA instigated the overthrow of Salvatore Allende, and in Pakistan, where he and Nixon turned a blind eye to the slaughter of hundreds of thousands. Hostility also exists regarding his actions in the Middle East, Cyprus, East Timor, and more.

In the early 2000s, Kissinger supported the administration of George W Bush in its invasion of Iraq. Another supporter of that war, the journalist Christopher Hitchens, wrote that Kissinger should be tried for war crimes.

Despite controversy, Kissinger and Le Duc Tho were awarded a shared Nobel prize for negotiating the Paris treaty which ended the Vietnam war, though the North Vietnamese negotiator refused to accept the honor. The accolade prompted the singer-satirist Tom Lehrer to comment, “Political satire became obsolete when Henry Kissinger was awarded the Nobel peace prize.”

Kissinger was included in Siege, Michael Wolff’s Trump exposé published in 2019. According to Wolff, Kissinger regularly advised Jared Kushner and, at one point, Trump’s son-in-law and senior White House adviser suggested that the nonagenarian should return as secretary of state.

His firm announced that Kissinger died at his home in Connecticut, with plans for a private family service and a memorial in New York at a later date.

More details soon …


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