Quotes of American Think Tank ‘Henry Kissinger’ – A policy thinker whose advice has been sought by world leaders including U.S. Presidents

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From a geo-strategic point of view, I consider Iran a bigger problem than ISIS. ISIS is a group of adventurers with a very aggressive ideology. But they have to conquer more and more territory before they can became a geo-strategic, permanent reality. I think a conflict with ISIS — important as it is — is more manageable than a confrontation with Iran.

Human rights are an essential goal of American policy. But so is national security. In some situations, no choice between them is required, making the moral issue relatively simple.

I think we should give him (Trump) the opportunity to develop the positive objectives that he may have and discuss those. And we have come through too many decades of daring incompetent administrations apart and it may happen again. But we shouldn’t begin that way and shouldn’t end up that way either. That would be my basic view.

I thought Hillary would win.

I’m not the spokesperson of the President-elect.

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In 1904 a resident of New Jersey called Ion Perdicaris was kidnapped by Moroccan brigands led by someone called Mulai Raisuli. The State Department sent a message demanding ‘This government wants Perdicaris alive or Raisuli dead’.

In my view in the present situation one should not insist on nailing him into positions he had taken in the campaign on which he does not insist. If he insists on them, then of course disagreements will be expressed. But if he develops another programme and leaves situation open, of what he said in the campaign one should not make dead the desired developments

It’s never happened in history that every region in the world could affect every other region simultaneously.

It’s not what I would have recommended at a moment of crisis. I can understand that he will be in a process of getting different opinions, but the president to the public should appear to have a sense of direction.

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It’s that I don’t know whether I choose to talk about it at this moment and in this forum. . . . And I don’t mind dropping the interview and I don’t mind you saying that I refused to go any further and pay the price for it.

My impression is the Chinese are extremely sensitive to the implications of the Jasmine Revolution, and that they find themselves in a position where if demonstrations develop, they know, or think they know, that the American government might be supportive so that they are probably trying to prevent any temptation from that. That’s how I interpret their general crackdown.

My policy on this, is to talk to them [Chinese leaders], but my personal view is not to denounce it publicly.

Nonstate groups may make the assessment that Trump will react to a terror attack in a way that suits their purposes.

Not enough attention was paid to the fact that [Globalisation] was bound to have winners and losers, and that the losers were bound to try to express themselves in some kind of political reaction.

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Protestantism has been a major engine of invention, a driving force in the Age of Discovery and it created the notion of national sovereignty and the doctrine of the state.

Richard Nixon didn’t like to concentrate too much on the minor details of problems. so he spent a lot of time in semi-secret alone, working things out with his yellow pad. He had a lot of time to reflect and discuss in those days.

The President-elect is the most unique that I experienced in one respect. He has absolutely no baggage.

The Roman empire and the Chinese empire didn’t know much about each other and had no means of interacting. Now we have every continent able to reach every other.

The statesman can usually only reach his goal in stages and, by definition, imperfectly. The art of policy is to move through imperfect stages towards ever-more fulfilling goals.

The U.S. had to navigate between Soviet pressures; Indian objectives; Chinese suspicions; and Pakistani nationalism. Adjustments had to be made-and would require a book to cover-but the results require no apology. By March 1972-within less than a year of the commencement of the crisis-Bangladesh was independent; the India-Pakistan War ended; and the opening to China completed at a summit in Beijing in February 1972.

There has come into being a kind of a Shia belt from Tehran through Baghdad to Beirut. And this gives Iran the opportunity to reconstruct the ancient Persian Empire — this time under the Shia label.

There is obviously a gap between the public’s perception of the role of U.S. foreign policy and the elite’s perception.

Trump is a determined President. The President-elect who is making a transition from being a chief campaigner to being national strategist.

We have to have faith in ourselves.

We have to keep in mind that we’ve been in five wars since World War II, and in only one can we say we’ve reached the objective stated. So we should state the objective that does not get us into an endless conflict.

What I am reflecting about now is not that I don’t think I know an answer to your question.

What is it that we will not permit, no matter how it happens, no matter how legitimate it looks?

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