55 Insightful Quotes By Henry Alfred Kissinger, The Distinguished Diplomat And Political Thinker
Diplomat, National Security Advisor (America)
Henry Alfred Kissinger is an American diplomat, political thinker and political scientist who went on to serve as the National Security Advisor as well as Secretary of State of the United States during his illustrious career. He was born in Germany in 1923 but the family fled from Germany due to persecution of Jews by Nazis and eventually ended up in New York. He joined the Army while still studying accountancy at the City College of New York but returned to academics and acquired a degree in political science from Harvard University. He went on to acquire a master’s degree and a Ph.D. from Harvard. Kissinger is well-known for his work as a diplomat who is credited for having shaped the course of United States foreign policy during late sixties and seventies. Kissinger was known as a purveyor of Realpolitik and steered the United States’ foreign policy pertaining to exit from the Vietnam War, Cold War with Russia and policies in China. He went on to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 1973 but it led to a lot of controversy. Kissinger remains one of the finest minds in the realm of foreign policy and an iconic figure. Henry Kissinger is an able orator and has expressed his thoughts on politics, diplomacy, international relations, peace etc through speeches, writings and interviews. The below collection of Henry Kissinger’s most famous quotes have been excerpted from his writings, papers, thoughts, speeches and interviews. We bring to you a collection of sayings and quotes by Henry Alfred Kissinger on power, academia, corruption, dishonesty, Germany, vision and humour.
Corrupt politicians make the other ten percent look bad. Nobody will ever win the battle of the sexes. There is too much fraternizing with the enemy. Military men are just dumb, stupid animals to be used as pawns in foreign policy. There can't be a crisis next week, my schedule is already full. The task of the leader is to get his people from where they are to where they have not been. It is not a matter of what is true that counts, but a matter of what is perceived to be true. Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac. America has no permanent friends or enemies, only interests The nice thing about being a celebrity is that if you bore people they think it's their fault. Don't be too ambitious. Do the most important thing you can think of doing every year and then your career will take care of itself. The absence of alternatives clears the mind marvelously. There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full. Every victory is only the price of admission to a more difficult problem The issues are too important to be left for the voters. The illegal we do immediately. The unconstitutional takes a little longer. A country that demands moral perfection in its foreign policy will achieve neither perfection nor security Poor old Germany. Too big for Europe, too small for the world It is not often that nations learn from the past,even rarer that they draw the correct conclusions from it. Blessed are the people whose leaders can look destiny in the eye without flinching but also without attempting to play God It is one of history's ironies that Communism, advertised as a classless society, tended to breed a privileged class of feudal proportions. Behind the slogans lay an intellectual vacuum. A turbulent history has taught Chinese leaders that not every problem has a solution and that too great an emphasis on total mastery over specific events could upset the harmony of the universe. In Washington...the appearance of power is therefore almost as important as the reality of it. In fact, the appearance is frequently its essential reality I am being frank about myself in this book. I tell of my first mistake on page 850. History is the memory of States. I want to thank you for stopping the applause. It is impossible for me to look humble for any period of time. The reason that university politics is so vicious is because stakes are so small Power without legitimacy tempts tests of strength; legitimacy without power tepmts empty posturing. Americans have a tendency to believe that when there's a problem there must be a solution. Each success only buys an admission ticket to a more difficult problem. Intellectuals analyze the operations of international systems; statesmen build them. History knows no resting places and no plateaus Because complexity inhibits flexibility, early choices are especially crucial. The state is a fragile organization, and the statesman does not have the moral right to risk its survival on ethical restraint. Covert action should not be confused with missionary work. Politicians are like dogs... Their life expectancy is too short for a commitment to be bearable George Bernard Shaw: “There are two tragedies in life. One is to lose your heart’s desire. The other is to gain it. In the end, peace can be achieved only by hegemony or by balance of power. Since Peter the Great, Russia had been expanding at the rate of one Belgium per year. Facts are rarely self-explanatory; their significance, analysis, and interpretation—at least in the foreign policy world—depend on context and relevance. It's a pity both sides can't lose (commenting on Iran-Iraq war, 1980 – 1988) A diamond is a chunk of coal that did well under pressure. Woe to the statesman whose arguments for entering a war are not as convincing at its end as they were at the beginning,” Bismarck had cautioned. Order should not have priority over freedom. But the affirmation of freedom should be elevated from a mood to a strategy. Empires have no interest in operating within an international system; they aspire to be the international system. For the greatest part of humanity and the longest periods of history, empire has been the typical mode of government. Nobody will ever win the Battle of the Sexes. There's just too much fraternizing with the enemy. Realpolitik for Bismarck depended on flexibility and on the ability to exploit every available option without the constraint of ideology. When the Chinese court deigned to send envoys abroad, they were not diplomats, but “Heavenly Envoys” from the Celestial Court.
…Policy is the art of the possible, the science of the relative.
United States would become the indispensable defender of the order Europe designed.
The Soviet Union would never be bound by agreements, Deng warned; it understood only the language of countervailing force.
But Japan drew from the challenge the opposite conclusion as China: it threw open its doors to foreign technology and overhauled its institutions in an attempt to replicate the Western powers’ rise.
Order without freedom, even if sustained by momentary exaltation, eventually creates its own counterpoise; yet freedom cannot be secured or sustained without a framework of order to keep the peace. For Roosevelt, if a nation was unable or unwilling to act to defend its own interests, it could not expect others to respect them. Inevitably,