Review: Henry Kissinger

Essay by chatroom March 2005

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Henry Kissinger presents a rather straightforward argument; his central argument is the security challenge dilemma of the U.S. and the global world amongst terrorism. Kissinger states that terrorism is the central challenge in the international system, the so-called war on terrorism. He stated that no president in the U.S. ever faced the great challenge of fighting a war and at the same time rebuilding the fundamental principals of world order. The Treaty of Westphalia was based on the concept on the principles of independent, sovereign states that continue to shape the international system today. Iraq poses a challenge to the system because the terrorist threat transcends the nation-state; it derives in large part from worldwide groups that, if they obtain weapons of mass destruction, could cause catastrophic, even severe damage. The security challenge and the justification of the war are some issues in the war with Iraq. Kissinger is a realist for whom diplomacy is a struggle for power rather than one between good and evil.

I base this assumption on the fact of his views on Iraq and how the war should be handled. Kissinger praises Bush's when the president chose America's commitment to a strategy of overthrowing regimes through preemptive war. And Kissinger claims that the threat of terrorism could justify a preemptive strike. He also says that invading Iraq and overthrowing Saddam could have "beneficent" consequences. Kissinger also takes issue with the underlying assumption of administration policy: that the objective in Iraq should be "regime change." Kissinger knows that the Bush administration is approaching Iraq the same way it has Afghanistan as a military rather than a political and diplomatic mission. Kissinger's view of America is it acts alone, it is in their national interest to conveying to the rest of the world that our first pre-emptive...