Henry Kissinger’ s “Diplomacy”

Yayınlandı: 18 Mart 2012 / Akademik Çalışmalar

Book Report by Bertuğ Kayhan


            Henry Kissinger is an American political-scientist, academic and diplomat. He worked as 56th Secretary of State of USA. Henry Kissinger also served as National Security Advisor. He have won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1973 and Special Presidency Award in 1977.

Henry Kissinger wrote many books. Diplomacy is one of the best books in international relations.        

            He starts to explain New World Order in the book.  He starts to argue America’ s foreign policy, Europe’ s early situation and policy, status of different states( like Japan, China, India, Russia) in the past and he started to advert “ balance of power”. According to him, balance of power aims to limit disputes and reduce aggressive policy of aggressive states when the system works regularly. Furthermore, “balance of power” not to adduce crisis and wars. This system does not satisfy each member of international relations but unless the state try to annihilate the situation, the system works successfully, according to Henry Kissinger.

He explains the topic about how to United States of America join the international arena, America’ s way of thinking in the history and how the USA was administrated until now. Furthermore, the book narrates two important USA Presidents story and compare them each other. Because America’s domestic and foreign policy was shaped that two presidents period. Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson. According to Kissinger, Roosevelt was sophisticated analyst of the balance of power. Roosevelt insisted on an active international role for USA. Because Roosevelt thought that; America had to join the international area, because of its interests  “The balance of power”could not exist without America  For Wilson, the USA did not responsible for balance of power completely. America’ s mission is spread its principles throughout the world. Both  recognized that America had a fundamental role to play in world affairs, Kissinger says.

Henry Kissinger argues balance of power’ s importance and he explains a concept is known “raison d’ etat” in the book. Kissinger says each depended on the other. Raison d’etat asserted that the state has the right to do something for well-being of its own. The balance of power replaced yearn for universal monarchy with the consolation that each state. Besides, Henry Kissinger explains us some statesman who lived in the past. One of them is Cardinal Richelieu. Kissinger says that, Cardinal Richelieu was father of modern state system and raison d’Etat was created by Richelieu and he kept France’ s interests on everything. Henry Kissinger says about Richelieu in the book “A statesman who achieved great success”.  Furthermore Kissinger argued that the success of the policy of raison d’etat depends accurate evaluations of power relationship. Consensus on the nature of the equilibrium is usually established by periodic conflict.

In Diplomacy, Henry Kissinger also alludes how Roosevelt, Stalin and Churchill approached to peace in World War II. He says Churchill wanted to rebuild traditional balance of power. According to Roosevelt, three winning powers and China must come together and protect peace from atrocious state(Germany). Stalin wanted to expand Russian action to Middle Europe. In this point, Kissinger explains the situation. He argues that Churchill’ s geopolitical analysis proved far more accurate than Roosevelt’ s analysis. If Roosevelt accepted Churchill’ s suggestion, he would raise America’ s political barganing power but if  America did it, it lost streng to withstand the effects of the Cold War, says Kissinger.

In addition, Henry Kissinger gives some information American and Russian policy during Cold War and NATO in Diplomacy. He argues that ambivalence of containment seemed to lend an marvellous impetus to American policy. Because “positions of strength” gave America decisive creativity. He explains some situation which is about NATO too. He says the “Marshall Plan” was designed to get Europe on its feet economically and NATO was look after its security. NATO was the first military alliance in American history in peacetime. In State Department document of America asserted that NATO was not founded to defend the status quo in Europe. Kissinger criticises this situation. In addition, Henry Kissinger thinks that containment theory was extraordinary. Because it is hard-headed and idealistic. It evaluated Soviet motivations in depth. Kissinger fend that containment policy was succesfull.

Also he argues in Diplomacy that international systems live under threat. Every “world order expresses” hope to be continued. NATO remains the major institutional link between America and Europe. Russia and NATO states relations are very important. Both the Atlantic Allience and the European Union are indispensable building blocks of a new world order. Kissinger also think NATO is the best protection against military squeeze from any quarter and he believe European Union has a important role for stability in Europe.   

Henry Kissinger explains information about Cold War. He says that the post-cold war order will confront the North Atlantic Allience with some problems. This problems will cause some discussion and quarrel between the USA and France. In addition he asserts all the traditional Atlantic relationship will change in the future. Europe will not need American protection and will pursue its economic self-interests much more aggressively. Kissinger argues the balance of power will change in the future.

In conclusion, he explains clearly and gives information about diplomacy in international relations in the book. How did the power of balance effect the world? How the power of balance was build? How did America decide in international relations?  He answers to the point in this masterpiece book.

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