Henry Kissinger speaking at World Economic Forum

The Terms of Peace

In the last full week of May, Dr Kissinger celebrated his 99th birthday and made remarks about Ukraine’s ceding land to Russia that drew attention—understandably.  The man’s career is unique: he both reached the heights of power and commanded respect as an academic.  His political controversy makes him a natural target for criticism, particularly in the context of the Russo-Ukrainian War.

Nevertheless, Dr Kissinger’s comments must be considered carefully.  Although his premise that failure to end the Ukraine war early would risk a permanent alliance between Russia and China is dubious, legitimate evaluation of his arguments reveals deeper contradictions within the current situation.  Indeed, Dr Kissinger’s greatest lesson to posterity, as an academic and statesman, is that the statesman’s task is to manage and resolve contradiction.  The contradictions in the Ukraine War – military, political, and diplomatic – offer a glimpse into the true task of contemporary statesmanship.

Doing so requires looking at Dr Kissinger’s premises and reconstructing his argument.

Read the full article at RealClear Defense.

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