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Henry Kissinger, a former US ambassador, turns 100

On Saturday, Henry Kissinger, a former ambassador and adviser to the president, turns 100. He has outlived many of his political contemporaries who helped lead the country through some of its most turbulent times, including the presidency of Richard Nixon and the Vietnam War.
On May 27, 1923, Kissinger was born in Germany. He is still well-known for his significant contribution to American foreign policy throughout the 1960s and 1970s, including efforts to eventually remove the United States from Vietnam. However, this wasn't until he was irrevocably tied to many of the conflict's most contentious activities.
The centennial of David Kissinger's birth “might have an air of inevitability for anyone familiar with his force of character and love of historical symbolism,” David Kissinger wrote in The Washington Post on Thursday.
He has not only lived longer than the majority of his contemporaries, notable critics, and pupils, but he has also kept up his unflagging activity far into his nineties.
This week, the senior Kissinger will celebrate by travelling to New York, London, and his native Fürth, Germany. Written by David Kissinger.
As an ageing statesman, Kissinger has remained influential among Washington's decision-makers in recent years. He maintains an international consulting business through which he gives speeches in the German accent he has not lost since fleeing the Nazi regime with his family when he was a teenager. He has advised Republican and Democratic presidents, including the White House during the Trump administration.
Kissinger participated in significant foreign policy events during his eight years as national security adviser and secretary of state, including the first instance of “shuttle diplomacy” to bring about peace in the Middle East, covert talks to thaw relations between the two emerging superpowers, and the instigation of the Paris peace talks to put an end to the Vietnam War and American military presence there.
As the remaining American servicemen departed what is now Ho Chi Minh City, Kissinger and Nixon faced the brunt of the blame from American friends when North Vietnamese communist forces seized Saigon in 1975.
Kissinger was also charged of directing the conflict's spread into Laos and Cambodia, which helped the murderous Khmer Rouge dictatorship come to power and slaughter an estimated 2 million Cambodians.
In addition to receiving praise, Kissinger was acknowledged as a key player in the detente era, a diplomatic endeavour between the United States and the Soviet Union from 1967 to 1979 to ease Cold War tensions via trade and armaments talks, particularly the Strategic armaments Limitation Talks accords.
Throughout Nixon's presidency (1969–1974), Kissinger remained one of the 37th president's most dependable advisors, and the Watergate scandal that brought down Nixon further increased his influence.
Kissinger received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Gerald Ford in 1977, who took over as president when his predecessor resigned, noting that Kissinger “wielded America's great power with wisdom and compassion in the service of peace.”
Others have said that throughout his time in Washington, Kissinger was more interested in power than peace, implementing realpolitik measures that favoured American interests while aiding or bolstering oppressive regimes in Pakistan, Chile, and Indonesia.

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