Kissinger, Henry

born 1923, Germany

American political scientist and U.S. Secretary of State (1973-77). A leading expert on international relations and nuclear defense policy, Kissinger taught (1957-69) at Harvard and served as a consultant to government agencies and private foundations. As President Nixon's assistant for national security affairs (1969-73) and later as secretary of state, he played a major role in formulating U.S. foreign policy. Kissinger helped initiate (1969) the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) with the Soviet Union and arranged President Nixon's 1972 visit to the People's Republic of China. He supported U.S. disengagement from Vietnam and won (1973) the Nobel Peace Prize for negotiating the cease-fire with North Vietnam. His negotiating skill also led to a cease-fire between Israel and Egypt and the disengagement of their troops after the 1973 Arab-Israeli War.

A recent book by Christopher Hitchens, The Trial of Henry Kissinger links Kissinger to war casualties in Vietnam, massacres in Bangladesh and Timor, and assassinations in Chile, Cyprus, and Washington, D.C, thus accusing Kissinger of being a human rights violator.

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