Charlie Rose Talks to Henry Kissinger

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from Bloomberg Businessweek,

You’ve just written a book called World Order. Is there an absence of order in the world right now?
This is one of the most chaotic periods that I know about. Every part of the world is redefining itself. Some internally—like China. Some externally: The European system hasn’t dominated the world; it’s been abandoned in Europe. And the U.S. is moving into a new period in which the dominance enjoyed in the immediate postwar period economically is no longer there. On the other hand, we are still the central element in creating a new order. Without our participation, it’s difficult to see how a new system can emerge in most parts of the world.

Obama has a lot on his plate now with the rise of Islamic State. What’s the right response?
We are dealing with 20,000 fanatics—a relatively small group that’s had astonishing success because of the weakness of the opposition”.

When the throats of Americans are cut on international television and they’re then decapitated, and these are innocent bystanders who were picked as victims, the fundamental values of the United States are insulted. And that must have some retaliation. For that we do not need allies. That we can do on our own.

Will the sanctions influence Putin?
Not the way they’re being conducted. I have thought throughout the crisis that we should have tried to break the momentum by raising a more important question: How do you reconceive Ukraine? If Ukraine is considered an outpost, then the situation is that its eastern border is the NATO strategic line, and NATO will be within 200 miles of [Volgograd]. That will never be accepted by Russia. On the other hand, if the Russian western line is at the border of Poland, Europe will be permanently disquieted. The strategic objective should have been to see whether one can build Ukraine as a bridge between East and West, and whether one can do it as a kind of a joint effort.

Compare Obama’s foreign policy to George W. Bush’s.
Bush faced an extremely difficult problem. We were attacked. We had to reestablish our credibility. In reestablishing respect, we were bound to unleash latent forces. Obama seemed to think that confessions of American guilt would gain public support abroad. The long-term outcome is in between these two positions.

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