Henry Kissinger: Realpolitik Or War Criminal

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Kissinger: Realpolitik or War Criminal When discussing the United States foreign policy of the last century, there is one name that stands out from all others. Following a very unique journey into American politics, Henry Kissinger has been documented and debated by scholars and leaders worldwide. His tactics have brought upon him both praise and condemnation, being described by some as a hero and others as a war criminal. Kissinger has been involved in just about every major foreign policy prescription from Vietnam to the modern day crisis in Syria and his career has spanned an important time in American history. Love him or hate him, Henry Kissinger has been, and is continuing to be one of the most accomplished statesmen in American…show more content…
His unwavering and at times ruthless tactics, however, have brought him both praise and staunch criticism from around the world. Many have even gone as far as condemning him as a war criminal. The most common outcry against Kissinger’s policies has been in relation to the war in Vietnam and his realpolitik principles. The anti-war sentiment that had been created by an increasing number of US casualties and the “Peace by Honor” slogan that many felt was extending America’s involvement in Southeast Asia were just the beginnings of Kissinger’s criticisms. They blame him for the deaths of millions in the Indochina region by way of indiscriminate bombing campaigns to help influence local regimes (Branfman). The true intentions of the bombing campaigns can surely be debated, but it is highly unlikely that Kissinger planned on a large-scale massacre of innocent civilians. Those accusations in relation to the mass killings are merely political…show more content…
Despite his early denial about being involved in talks with the Indonesian President, previously unreleased documents from the National Security Archives also point to Kissinger and President Ford’s promotion of the invasion. The invasion led to the deaths of nearly 200,000 Timorese and increased the criticism against Kissinger at a time when he was already receiving negative remarks from adversaries. It also must be noted that Indonesia was making use of United States military equipment that congress had approved for self-defense only (Evans, Burr). So not only was the invasion supposedly approved by President Ford and Henry Kissinger, but it also gave way to the illegal use of US military
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