Henry Kissinger Calls for Negotiated Peace in Ukraine

Former United States Secretary of State and renowned foreign policy realist Henry Kissinger recently urged that Russia and Ukraine reach a negotiated settlement to wind down the Russo-Ukrainian conflict. Kissinger believes that if this conflict continues there’s a strong possibility that the it could go nuclear.

Kissinger recently wrote an essay titled “How to Avoid Another World War”  for the Spectator where he argued that Russia hawks desire to break up the Russian federation will lead to a potential nuclear showdown. “The time is approaching to build on the strategic changes which have already been accomplished and to integrate them into a new structure towards achieving peace through negotiation,” Kissinger stated.

“A peace process should link Ukraine to NATO, however expressed. The alternative of neutrality is no longer meaningful,” he stated. He warned that repeated attempts to weaken Russia could unleash all sorts of geopolitical chaos. He believes that several geopolitical strategists’ aim for the “dissolution” of Russia would lead to the emergence of a power vacuum that would also upset the global balance of power.

“The dissolution of Russia or destroying its ability for strategic policy could turn its territory encompassing 11 time zones into a contested vacuum,” Kissinger emphasized.

“Its competing societies might decide to settle their disputes by violence. Other countries might seek to expand their claims by force. All these dangers would be compounded by the presence of thousands of nuclear weapons which make Russia one of the world’s two largest nuclear powers.”

Kissnger has upset many members of the national security establishment by previously declaring that “It was not a wise American policy to attempt to include Ukraine into NATO.”

One of Kissinger’s proposals that has been met with fierce opposition is his call for “internationally supervised referendums” for self-determination parts of Eastern Ukraine occupied by Russia. Kissinger said the following: 

“This process has mooted the original issues regarding Ukraine’s membership in Nato. Ukraine has acquired one of the largest and most effective land armies in Europe, equipped by America and its allies. A peace process should link Ukraine to Nato, however expressed. The alternative of neutrality is no longer meaningful, especially after Finland and Sweden joined Nato. This is why, last May, I recommended establishing a ceasefire line along the borders existing where the war started on 24 February. Russia would disgorge its conquests thence, but not the territory it occupied nearly a decade ago, including Crimea. That territory could be the subject of a negotiation after a ceasefire.”

“If the pre-war dividing line between Ukraine and Russia cannot be achieved by combat or by negotiation, recourse to the principle of self-determination could be explored. Internationally supervised referendums concerning self-determination could be applied to particularly divisive territories which have changed hands repeatedly over the centuries,” Kissinger added. 

Kissinger outlined what a peace process would look like: “The goal of a peace process would be twofold: to confirm the freedom of Ukraine and to define a new international structure, especially for Central and Eastern Europe. Eventually Russia should find a place in such an order.”

While Russia’s geopolitical actions historically have been controversial, Kissinger admitted that Russia has played an indispensable role in maintaining a global balance of power: 

“The preferred outcome for some is a Russia rendered impotent by the war. I disagree. For all its propensity to violence, Russia has made decisive contributions to the global equilibrium and to the balance of power for over half a millennium. Its historical role should not be degraded.”

Kissinger warned policymakers about the risks of nuclear conflict with Russia: “Russia’s military setbacks have not eliminated its global nuclear reach, enabling it to threaten escalation in Ukraine.”

While this author takes issue with some of Kissinger’s policies, he is one of the last remaining voices of reasonable foreign policy proposals left in the Collective West. Hopefully, policymakers listen to Kissinger’s wisdom and actually try to de-escalate tensions in Ukraine. 

If not, the world could be on the verge of facing nuclear armageddon. 

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