Henry Kissinger Believes that the Ukraine’s Potential Ascension into NATO was a Mistake

In a report by the Wall Street Journal, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger believes that “it was a mistake for NATO to signal to Ukraine that it might eventually join the alliance” and that Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s security concerns should have been taken more seriously. 

Kissinger also noted that NATO expansion should have been halted in Poland and that Ukraine should have adopted a neutral geopolitical alignment in the mold of Finland during the Cold War. 

Per the WSJ, Kissinger contended that “it was a mistake for NATO to signal to Ukraine that it might eventually join the alliance.” He also stressed the importance of taking Russia’s security concerns into account. 

“I thought that Poland – all the traditional Western countries that have been part of Western history – were logical members of NATO,” Kissinger observed. “I was in favor of the full independence of Ukraine, but I thought its best role was something like Finland,” the former Secretary of State continued. 

Kissinger views Ukraine as “a collection of territories once appended to Russia, which Russians see as their own, even though ‘some Ukrainians’ do not. Stability would be better served by its acting as a buffer between Russia and the West.”

The Secretary of State believes the game has changed in light of the special military operation that Russia launched on February 24, 2022. “Now I consider, one way or the other, formally or not, Ukraine has to be treated in the aftermath of this as a member of NATO,” Kissinger stated.

It’s truly breath-taking that someone like Henry Kissinger is the voice of reason when it comes to foreign policy discourse. For all his faults, Kissinger possesses a strong degree of restraint in matters of foreign affairs unlike the current crop of foreign policy decision-makers. 

The 99-year-old former Secretary of State represents a different era of statecraft that was based on realism and restraint. On the other hand, contemporary foreign policy decision-making is based on ideological fixations and raw emotion. 

Unsurprisingly, the latter change in foreign policy mindset has resulted in disastrous nation-building projects and is likely going to put the US on the path to disastrous great power conflicts unless a course reversion takes place.

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