Henry Kissinger, the former US Secretary of State, has died at the age of 100. Known for his brilliance, ambition, and controversial foreign policies, Kissinger played a crucial role in shaping US relations with China. Despite his intellectual gifts, he was criticized for his disregard for human rights and democracy, particularly in the Vietnam War. Kissinger’s name is often associated with “realpolitik,” a diplomatic approach based on power and practical considerations. While admired by some for advancing US interests, others see him as an unindicted war criminal for his involvement in various events, such as supporting Chile’s military coup and Indonesia’s invasion of East Timor. Born in Germany, Kissinger fled the Nazi regime with his family in 1938 and resettled in New York. He attended Harvard, where he earned a bachelor’s degree and doctorate. Kissinger served as national security advisor and secretary of state under President Richard Nixon and continued in the latter role under President Gerald Ford. During his tenure, he played a key role in the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks with the Soviet Union and initiated diplomatic relations with China. However, his policies also faced criticism, including his involvement in the Vietnam War and his support for authoritarian regimes. Kissinger’s death marks the end of an era in US foreign policy and leaves behind a complex legacy.
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