03:07 GMT +3 hours28 May 2016
Live
Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger is interviewed by Neil Cavuto on his Cavuto Coast to Coast program, on the Fox Business Network, in New York, Friday, June 5, 2015

Kissinger Outlines New Vision for Russia-US Relations

© AP Photo/ Richard Drew
Politics
Get short URL
498873316

On Wednesday, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger traveled to Moscow to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin for a 'friendly dialogue'. Greeted by Putin as an 'old friend', Kissinger published an article the next day outlining his vision for the future of US-Russia relations.

Commenting on the meeting, Russian television network RT recalled that over the years, Kissinger has held nearly a dozen face-to-face meetings with the Russian president. In 2013, Putin complemented the former secretary of state, emphasizing that Moscow always pays close attention to his views, and calling him "a world class politician."

​A day after his meeting with the Russian leader, Kissinger released a new article on the direction of Russia-US relations. 

In the article, published by Washington-based foreign policy magazine The National Interest, Kissinger emphasized that for stability to return to global affairs, "Russia should be perceived as an essential element of any new global equilibrium."

​"From 2007 into 2009," Kissinger recalled, "Evgeny Primakov and I chaired a group composed of retired senior ministers, high officials and military leaders from Russia and the United States…Its purpose was to ease the adversarial aspects of the US-Russian relationship and to consider opportunities for cooperative approaches. In America, it was described as a Track II group, which meant it was bipartisan and encouraged the White House to explore but not negotiate on its behalf. We alternated meetings in each other's country."

"All the participants had held responsible positions during the Cold War. During periods of tension, they had asserted the national interest of their country as they understood it. But they had also learned through experience the perils of a technology threatening civilized life and evolving in a direction which, in crisis, might disrupt any organized human activity [the nuclear bomb]. Upheavals were looming around the globe, magnified by different cultural identities and clashing ideologies. The goal of the Track II effort was to overcome crises and explore common principles of world order."

"Evgeny Primakov was an indispensable partner in this effort. His sharp analytical mind combined with a wide grasp of global trends acquired in years close to and ultimately at the center of power, and his great devotion to his country refined our thinking and helped in the quest for a common vision. We did not always agree, but we always respected each other. He is missed by all of us and by me personally as a colleague and a friend."

Unfortunately, the former secretary of state continued, "I do not need to tell you that our relations today are much worse than they were a decade ago. Indeed, they are probably the worst they have been since before the end of the Cold War. Mutual trust has dissipated on both sides. Confrontation has replaced cooperation. I know that in his last months, Evgeny Primakov looked for ways to overcome this disturbing state of affairs. We would honor his memory for making that effort our own."

Kissinger recalled that despite hopes at the end of the Cold War for the emergence a new world of partnership and cooperation, and the recognition by "many on both sides…that the fates of Russia and the United States remained tightly intertwined," the "momentum of global upheaval has outstripped the capacities of statesmanship."

A series of geopolitical disputes, from the 1999 NATO war in Yugoslavia, to US policy in the Middle East in the 2000s, to the conflicts over Ukraine and Syria today, dissipated hopes for cooperation. Even "the more recent efforts to find common ground in the Syria conflict and to defuse the tension over Ukraine have done little to change the mounting sense of estrangement," Kissinger noted.

"The prevailing narrative in each country places full blame on the other side, and in each country there is a tendency to demonize, if not the other country, then its leaders. As national security issues dominate the dialogue, some of the mistrust and suspicions from the bitter Cold War struggle have reemerged."

"These feelings," the statesman added, "have been exacerbated in Russia by the memory of the first post-Soviet decade when Russia suffered a staggering socio-economic and political crisis, while the United States enjoyed its longest period of uninterrupted economic expansion. All this caused policy differences over the Balkans, the former Soviet territory, the Middle East, NATO expansion, missile defense and arms sales to overwhelm prospects for cooperation."

Possibly the most important among these differences, Kissinger earnestly noted, is "a fundamental gap in historical conception."

"For the United States, the end of the Cold War seemed like a vindication of its traditional faith in inevitable democratic revolution. It visualized the expansion of an international system governed by essentially legal rules. But Russia’s historical experience is more complicated. To a country across which foreign armies have marched for centuries from both East and West, security will always need to have a geopolitical, as well as a legal, foundation. When its security border moves from the Elbe 1,000 miles east towards Moscow, Russia’s perception of world order will contain an inevitable strategic component. The challenge of our period is to merge the two perspectives—the legal and the geopolitical—in a coherent concept."

"In this way, paradoxically, we find ourselves confronting anew an essentially philosophical problem. How does the United States work together with Russia, a country which does not share all its values but is an indispensable component of the international order? How does Russia exercise its security interests without raising alarms around its periphery and accumulating adversaries? Can Russia gain a respected place in global affairs with which the United States is comfortable? Can the United States pursue its values without being perceived as threatening to impose them? I will not attempt to propose answers to all these questions. My purpose is to encourage an effort to explore them."

The Need for a 'New, Multipolar, Globalized Equilibrium'

At present, Kissinger recalled, "many commentators, both Russian and American, have rejected the possibility of the US and Russia working cooperatively on a new international order. In their view, the United States and Russia have entered a new Cold War."

The danger to this mode of thinking, he noted, "is less a return to military confrontation than the consolidation of a self-fulfilling prophecy in both countries. The long-term interests of both countries call for a world that transforms the contemporary turbulence and flux into a new equilibrium which is increasingly multipolar and globalized."

"The nature of the turmoil is in itself unprecedented. Until quite recently, global international threats were identified with the accumulation of power by a dominating state. Today threats more frequently arise from the disintegration of state power and the growing number of ungoverned territories."

"This spreading power vacuum," Kissinger explains, "cannot be dealt with by any state, no matter how powerful, on an exclusively national basis. It requires sustained cooperation between the United States and Russia, and other major powers. Therefore the elements of competition, in dealing with the traditional conflicts in the interstate system, must be constrained so that the competition remains within bounds and creates conditions which prevent a recurrence."

Russian-US Disagreements in Ukraine and Syria Must Be Considered From a Broader Standpoint

"There are, as we know, a number of divisive issues before us, Ukraine or Syria as the most immediate. For the past few years, our countries have engaged in episodic discussions of such matters without much notable progress. This is not surprising, because the discussions have taken place outside an agreed strategic framework. Each of the specific issues is an expression of a larger strategic one."

"Ukraine needs to be embedded in the structure of European and international security architecture in such a way that it serves as a bridge between Russia and the West, rather than as an outpost of either side."

"Regarding Syria," the statesman suggested, "it is clear that the local and regional factions cannot find a solution on their own. Compatible US-Russian efforts coordinated with other major powers could create a pattern for peaceful solutions in the Middle East and perhaps elsewhere."

Ultimately, Kissinger emphasizes, "any effort to improve relations must include a dialogue about the emerging world order. What are the trends that are eroding the old order and shaping the new one? What challenges do the changes pose to both Russian and American national interests? What role does each country want to play in shaping that order, and what position can it reasonably and ultimately hope to occupy in that world order? How do we reconcile the very different concepts of world order that have evolved in Russia and the United States – and in the other major powers – on the basis of historical experience?"

"The goal," he concludes, "should be to develop a strategic concept for US-Russian relations within which the points of contention may be managed."

Kissinger, it seems, has Moscow's ear, if his latest discussion with the Russian president is any indication. Does he have Washington's?

 

Henry Kissinger served as Secretary of State under Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford between 1973 and 1977. In 1973, he won the Nobel Peace Prize for the ceasefire and withdrawal of US troops from Vietnam. Kissinger also pioneered Washington's policy of détente toward the Soviet Union, and improved US relations with China. In US foreign policy thought, he has long been a proponent of the realist school, suggesting that while the US and Russia are destined to compete strategically, Washington cannot deny Russia its right to exist as a world power and as a state.

Tags:
US foreign policy, expert analysis, foreign policy, geopolitics, Vladimir Putin, Henry Kissinger, United States, Russia
Community standardsDiscussion
Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik
  • Сomment
  • rmukarutabanain reply toAnn (Show commentHide comment)
    sixpack6t9, If he wants to be heard by his side, then these are the things to say...
  • art
    When a mass murderer and war criminal by all written international statutes is called "statesman" and instead of being behind the bars, is considered the conduit of communications between world powers, you should have no doubt that the postulation that our world is not defined and contained by public rules and so called "values" but the so called "conspiracy theory" that our world is being direly threatened to be conquered by an invisible dark force that tells our visible leaders on stage what to do, is true.

    Pay close attention to what Kissinger is (not) saying: he is saying that traditional "states" should not pretend to make decisions anymore. They should instead help create a new partnership or "equilibrium" that is tamed, ruled, and controlled by the "NEW WORLD ORDER", without of course telling us who controls the NWO. That would be shooting his tribe in the foot.

    Kissinger is not in Russia for a philosophical chitchat over a home made Piroshki. He must be delivering and coordinating an important message.
  • Mitach2002
    Kissybutt took part in implementing some of the American government most aggressive policies of murder.
  • patkelly1595
    This conversation should have taken place in Kissinger's jail cell where he should be waiting trial on war crimes. He has caused so much pain and misery for so many people.
  • backfromthegraav
    US americans enemy of russia ... that was Easy !
  • terryjohnodgers
    Kissinger is a Bilderberg stooge and has been for decades. There is only one reason he did that trip to Moscow - the Globalists are in a panic over what Russia is now achieving in Syria and the middle east in general and their world domination plan is unravelling.

    Whenever anyone mentions the word 'globalization' sit up and take note of what they really mean.

    Putin and Lavrov are very astute geo-politicians. That old warrior Sun Tzu would be very proud of them.
  • vendorin reply torogertidy(Show commentHide comment)
    rogertidy, one of the most elaborate, elegant and enjoyable comments I've read on Sputnik. Triple EEE for excellence from me!
  • terryjohnodgersin reply torogertidy(Show commentHide comment)
    rogertidy, I believe you miss the real agenda in Kissinger's visit. Kissinger has always been the messenger conveying other's requests. If Kissinger is a realist then he would know that even his decades of personal experience and undeserved reputation as a 'statesman' is no match for the team of Putin and Lavrov.

    His visit to Moscow only confirms the panic that is now being exuded by the would be Globalists and their New World Order team, why, even Brzenzski from the Council on Foreign Relations is now muddying the waters of the Ukraine fiasco to deflect the CFRs and therefore, NATOs role in the undermining of the Ukraine.

    Russia has the US proxy ISIS on the run in Syria and that action has put the globalists on the back foot without a suitable reply to the Russian success except to denigrate, undermine and apply economic sanctions.

    That smacks of a very sore loser in the game of geo-politics.

    The current US and past administrations going all the way back to Johnson, who had knowledge of Kennedy's imminent assassination, are controlled by the Banking/Corporate/Military Industrial interests throughout the West who in turn are controlled by the lesser in number but more influential ancient moneyed aristocracies of Europe.

    These global elite want nothing less than complete control over the planet. It is Russia and China that are preventing that outcome.

    The United States has become an imperial power with a dictator at the helm. No one can parley with a dictator and hope to win the argument, especially a dictator whose only reason for being is to enable a New World Order to rise while destroying a country that was once the Light of the World. I believe Kissinger was sent to Moscow to gain concessions from Putin by the advocates of the NWO on the supposition that Kissinger's 'reputation' would earn something for his presence, as to what that something may have been, well that's anyone's guess.

    Did that visit work? Only time will tell.
  • megargy
    Kissinger belongs in a cage & never forget what this old fox is & the crimes he committed against humanity!
  • michael
    and when will we find out the 'real' motive behind the visit I wonder?
  • Is it because I am black?in reply tomichael(Show commentHide comment)
    michael, consult with some Russian doctors maybe?
  • Is it because I am black?
    Anyway, Primakov and Lavrov are true diplomats, champions of peace, and friends of Africa in particular, Kissinger is an old chatterbox at best.
  • michaelin reply toIs it because I am black?(Show commentHide comment)
    Is it because I am black?, and that might not be such a bad idea at that, :)
  • Is it because I am black?in reply tobackfromthegraav(Show commentHide comment)
    backfromthegraav, with lots of senile drivel around it, right.
  • backfromthegraavin reply toIs it because I am black?(Show commentHide comment)
    Is it because I am black?, explain ?
  • ron
    Bottom line, NATO unlawful and every increasing expansion, the US mandate to overturn sovereign states then control them. Old friends? What do enemies look like if that criminal is a friend?
  • Ivan Buckeye
    So, there needs to be rules to the competition between the U.S. and Russia? Following laws and regulations like some mad scientist is Russia's weak spot. It's impossible for Russia to follow these foreign laws and stipulations if the United States does not. A moral crown of virtue goes to Russia for being studious with laws and rules, but that will not stop the U.S. advance towards dismantling Russia or damaging Russia. At some point folks, a fight loses its rules when life or death becomes the outcome.
  • mwk_mwk
    The US is going down the economic gurgler and they are rapidly losing their 'empire' status. Russia china are leading the world toward what Putin refers to as 'unipolarity' and a new world order based on respect for each countries sovereignty. US understands that the order is changing and now want to be a part of this change, trying to establish themselves as a 'leader' in the process by calling for international dialogue around how the change is going to occur By achieving this status the US can protect and allow its subversive mechanisms of thievery, slavery and corruption and wanton murder of innocent lives to continue under a new name with a similar meaning to democracy
  • ivanwa88
    Kissenger a great orator and analytical thinker one of the greats of his time in serving US interests whilst observing the Mafia ethos of " keep your enemy closer than your friends"
    My interpretation on his article is; The unipolar world is upon us, how can I get Americans to start accepting that, and to come out of that process shining like a new corvette, but first I need to weave my magic spell on Putin, heh I had a good shot! its up to you now Americans. At least in my twilight years or months I will have finished my life on a good note!
  • vendorin reply toivanwa88(Show commentHide comment)
    ivanwa88, read this book;

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Trial_of_Henry_Kissinger

    He is a killer not a thinker. He likes to plot, blackmail and bribe.
Show new comments (0)
Top stories