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Henry Kissinger


Henry Kissinger is a political scientist and a former diplomat and politician of the United States of America. He served as Secretary of State and as National Security Advisor to Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford respectively. As a diplomat and National Security Advisor, Kissinger’s approach was based on Realpolitik, a term that means applying real and practical approaches to politics or diplomacy rather than mere ideological or ethical methods. This inclination made him to champion many controversial foreign policy directions in America’s dealings with several nations perceived as having inimical stance or unfriendly governments to the United States. Henry Kissinger was born on the 27th of May 1923 to Jewish German parents in Bavaria, Germany. He was born to Louis and Paula Kissinger and has a junior brother called Walter Kissinger. While Kissinger’s family were fleeing persecution from the Nazis initially arrived in London in 1938 but later relocated to New York the same year. With the outbreak of the Second World War, Kissinger was drafted for military service in the United States Army in 1943. He was later assigned to Military Intelligence Unit of the 84th Infantry Division. He served courageously in dangerous intelligence gathering operations during The Battle of The Bulge for which he was awarded a Bronze Star.

Academic Career of Henry Kissinger

After graduating from High School, Kissinger studied Accounting in the City College. He later obtained a degree from Harvard College, majoring in political science. Kissinger earned Master and Doctorate degrees from Harvard University between 1950 and 1952. Henry Kissinger served in Harvard University as a consultant and member of faculty. He served as a consultant to various National Departments on security and foreign relations between 1955 and 1968.

Political Career of Henry Kissinger

Kissinger became involved in politics as a result of his desire to have a greater influence on foreign policy direction of the government of the United States. He became a supporter of Nelson Rockefeller who was governor of the state of New York. Upon his election as the president of the United States of America, Richard Nixon appointed Henry Kissinger as National Security Advisor. He was also made Secretary of State under the same administration. As diplomat and foreign policy advisor to the President, Kissinger’s policy thrust was based largely on Real Politick leading him to pursue foreign policy directions which were sometimes as ruthless as they were controversial. However, Henry Kissinger has to his credit many notable achievements during his tenure as advisor to presidents Nixon and Ford. For instance, he facilitated the Détente between the United States and the Soviet Union as well as rapprochement with China. He was also controversially involved in thwarting the proposed peace deal between the US and North Vietnam as well as the toppling of the government of Salvador Allende in Chile because of his socialist alignment.