Home World News Henry Kissinger, controversial, edgy and inescapable, turns 100 this Saturday

Henry Kissinger, controversial, edgy and inescapable, turns 100 this Saturday

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Henry Kissinger, controversial, edgy and inescapable, turns 100 this Saturday

Henry Kissinger turns 100 this Saturday. Age has the symbolic weight of an outstanding crew member of the last century, above all. Close to this anniversary, the former chancellor, who has just published Leadership, is preparing two other texts, one on Artificial Intelligence. Apart from the reasonable controversies that flood his long history, his thought counts, still very acute. Here is part of the reflections that he has shared in various reports, including the most recent with The Economist.

“We live in a world of unprecedented destruction. It has never been possible to destroy all of your opponents, due to geographical and accuracy limitations. There are no more limitations. Every opponent is 100% vulnerable.”

Regarding tensions with China, he says the world “is in the classic pre-war situation in which neither side has much room for political concessions and in which any upset of the balance can have catastrophic consequences”.

He says there isn’t much time for that conciliation. The advance of Artificial Intelligence (AI), due to the changes it will produce, leaves only 5 to 10 years to find a way “In the United States they say that China wants to dominate the world. The answer is that they (China) want to be powerful. They are not heading for world domination in the Hitlerian sense. That’s not how they think about the world order.”

“If they achieved an actually usable superiority, would they take it to the point of imposing Chinese culture? I do not know. My instincts are not… [Pero] I think it is within our ability to prevent such a situation from happening through a combination of diplomacy and force.”

“China tries to play a global role. We need to assess whether conceptions of a strategic role are compatible. If they are not, the question of strength will arise. Is it possible for China and the United States to coexist without the threat of all-out war between them? It can fail. Therefore, we must be strong enough militarily to resist failure.”

“As things have evolved, it is not easy now for the United States to leave Taiwan without weakening its position elsewhere.”

Meeting with Mikhail Gorbachev AFP

Meeting with Mikhail Gorbachev AFP

The advice is to reduce tension and build trust. Imagine a conversation between a US president and his Chinese colleague: “Mr. President, the two greatest dangers to peace right now are the two of us. In the sense that we have the ability to destroy humanity”.

Seeking the collapse of the Chinese regime “would lead to civil war. In any stability diplomacy, there must be some element of the 19th century world based on the proposition that the existence of the contesting states was not in question.

Putin’s catastrophic mistake

About the war. “It was certainly a catastrophic miscalculation on Putin’s part.” But also “the decision to leave Ukraine’s NATO membership open was very wrong”.

He believes Russia should hand over most of the territory it captured in 2014 as well, but in any ceasefire Russia will likely keep Sevastopol (its largest naval base in Crimea).

* Recommends two steps to lasting peace. Ukraine must join NATO to limit and protect it. And the West needs to get closer to Russia to create a stable eastern border.

Chinese President Xi Jinping with former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in Beijing, China

Chinese President Xi Jinping with former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in Beijing, China

China has a primary interest in seeing Russia emerge from the war intact. A collapse in Moscow would worry China because it would create a power vacuum in Central Asia that risks being filled by a “Syrian-type civil war”.

Kissinger welcomes Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s call to Ukrainian Volodomir Zelensky. He sees it as progress. But he warns that Beijing’s mediation is tinged with mutual distrust. “I have never met a Russian leader who would say something nice about China. Or a Chinese leader who said something good about Russia.” They are not natural allies.

The current leaders

US and China must discuss artificial intelligence “We are at the beginning of a capability where machines could impose a global pestilence, not just nuclear but any field of human destruction.”

It warns that artificial intelligence will be a key driver of security five years from now. And he compares its disruptive potential with the invention of printing.

“We need to initiate exchanges on the impact of technology between us. We need to take small steps towards gun control, where each side presents the other with controllable material.”

Doubt the current leadership. “I don’t think Biden can provide inspiration and I hope Republicans find someone better than Trump. It’s not a great moment in history.”

The big challenge for the United States is “to achieve long-term strategic thinking. If we don’t, the failure predictions will hold true.”

“World leaders have a great responsibility. They require realism to face the dangers, vision to see that the solution lies in striking a balance between the strengths of their countries, and restraint to refrain from using their offensive powers to the fullest. It is an unprecedented challenge but also a great opportunity”.
MC.

Source: Clarin

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