America is not fit to face new challenges to the world order, the former US secretary of state claimed
Henry Kissinger has accused the US political establishment of a failure to demonstrate “domestic cohesion,” warning an audience at an event honoring former President Ronald Reagan that the country could not afford to isolate itself.
The US is suffering “domestic division and international disorder about arguments about who we are and what we stand for,” the former secretary of state and national security adviser told guests at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library on Sunday.
This situation means that Washington “finds it difficult to muster the domestic cohesion necessary to face the challenges ahead of us,” Kissinger added.
The former White House official argued that China posed a “challenge to world order,” and listed Russia’s military operation in Ukraine and the supposedly imminent development of “the world’s most devastating weapons” by Iran as among the issues for the US to tackle. He also warned that artificial intelligence (AI) was “transforming human consciousness itself.”
“Each of these pressing developments requires a combination of strength and conciliation,” Kissinger said, arguing that Reagan had been a leader who “knew that America needed to be powerful in substance and in mind to protect world order – by force, if necessary.”
Sunday marked the 112th anniversary of Reagan’s birth, and Kissinger asserted that the former Republican leader had never wavered in his belief that “America is most secure and prosperous when it is the leader in shaping a stable world,” and that “a stable world could not be based on American isolationism.”
While the 99-year-old former diplomat described Reagan as a “peacemaker,” the conservative icon’s presidency saw the US invade Grenada, send thousands of troops to the Middle East, and attempt to overthrow the government of Nicaragua by funding, training, and arming Contra militias through the CIA.
During Reagan’s presidency, Kissinger chaired the National Bipartisan Commission on Central America, which accused the Soviet Union of exploiting political unrest in the region while glossing over America’s – and specifically Kissinger’s – support for military dictatorships such as Augusto Pinochet in Chile and the right-wing death squads of El Salvador in the name of fighting communism.
Last month at the World Economic Forum, Kissinger publicly embraced the idea of Ukrainian membership of NATO, reversing course on the opposition he had voiced previously, when he called for an end to the conflict as soon as possible for fear that Russia would be driven into the arms of China.
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