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Henry Kissinger Debate

December 12, 2023

Henry Kissinger Debate

Be it Resolved, Henry Kissinger was one of history’s great statesmen

Henry Kissinger, the former US Secretary of State who helped shape Cold War history, is a man both revered and reviled. To his supporters, he was a brilliant statesman whose realpolitik approach to foreign affairs helped maintain international world order and contain Soviet aggression. Kissinger’s skilled diplomacy produced a diplomatic opening to Beijing, a détente with the Soviet Union, and the eventual peace agreement between Israel and Egypt. As present-day conflict threatens to engulf the Middle East and Eastern Europe, and a new and dangerous alliance is forming between China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea, a statesman with Kissinger’s strategic acumen is badly needed.

To his distractors, however, Kissinger was a war criminal whose pursuit of power resulted in the carpet bombing of Cambodia, a prolonged Vietnam war, a military coup in Chile, and many other such atrocities. Few Americans have been responsible for as many deaths in America and abroad as he. Henry Kissinger, his critics argue, did not make the world more secure; rather, his ruthless brand of realism and callous disregard for human life sowed a deep hatred of US foreign policy overseas that has manifested into the violent conflicts unfolding in the present day.

Arguing in favour of the resolution is Niall Ferguson, he’s a world famous historian, a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, and the author of Kissinger 1923-1968: The Idealist

Arguing against the resolution is Patrick Porter, he’s Professor of International Security and Strategy at the University of Birmingham

The Kissinger years made possible that resurgence of American power that ultimately led to victory in the Cold War.”

I keep counting the interests that were damaged and the dead who didn’t need to die. And I think that was bad for the republic and bad for the world.”

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