World Order: Reflections on the Character of Nations and the Course of History

World Order: Reflections on the Character of Nations and


    Download Book Best Sellers in PDF format the summation of Henry Kissinger s thinking about history, strategy and statecraft As if taking a perspective from far above the World Order: eBook É globe, it examines the great tectonic plates of history and the motivations of nations, explaining the attitudes that states and empires have taken to the rest of the world from the formation of Europe to our own timesKissinger identifies four great world orders in history the European, Islamic, Chinese and American Since the end of Charlemagne s Order: Reflections on PDF/EPUB ¿ empire, and especially since the Peace of Westphalia in , Europeans have striven for balance in international affairs, first in their own continent and then globally Islamic states have looked to their destined expansion over regions populated by unbelievers, a position exemplified today by Iran under the ayatollahs For overyears the Chinese have seen all under Heaven as being tributary to the Chinese Emperor America views itself as a city on a hill , a beacon to the world, whose values have universal validity How have these attitudes evolved and how have they shaped the histories of their nations, regions, and the rest of the world What has happened when they have come into contact with each other How have they balanced legitimacy and power at different times What is the condition of each in our contemporary world, and how are they shaping relations between states now To answer these questions Henry Kissinger draws upon a lifetime s historical study and unmatched experience as a world statesman His account is shot through with observations about how historical change takes place, how some leaders shape their times and others fail to do so, and how far states can stray from the ideas which define them World Order is a masterpiece of narrative, analysis and portraits of great historical actors that only Henry Kissinger could have written."/>
  • Paperback
  • 432 pages
  • World Order: Reflections on the Character of Nations and the Course of History
  • Henry Kissinger
  • English
  • 05 February 2019
  • 0141979003

10 thoughts on “World Order: Reflections on the Character of Nations and the Course of History

  1. Chris Ziesler Chris Ziesler says:

    I approached this book with a little trepidation My two previous experiences with Kissinger s earlier books were Diplomacy, which I found pithy, insightful and very enlightening and his three volume memoirs which I found to be overwhelming in their level of detail and which eventually defeated my best efforts to read them Which Kissinger would be the author of World Order I worried unnecessarily World Order is a master class on Foreign Affairs given by a virtuoso on the subject Kissinger s I approached this book with a little trepidation My two previous experiences with Kissinger s earlier books were Diplomacy, which I found pithy, insightful and very enlightening and his three volume memoirs which I found to be overwhelming in their level of detail and which eventually defeated my best efforts to read them Which Kissinger would be the author of World Order I worried unnecessarily World Order is a master class on Foreign Affairs given by a virtuoso on the subject Kissinger s grasp of the historical and cultural background of the present world situation is comprehensive and deeply learned His central theme is the perennial interplay between legitimacy and power which he illustrates by examining the evolution of order in successive sphere s of influence Europe, the Middle East, Asia, the United States He also dissects how certain key international relationships have arisen and are developing US Iran, China India, Islam with the Christian West He concludes by assessing what role technology plays now and likely to play in the future His leitmotif and touchstone is the Treaty of Westphalia signed in 1648, at the end of the Thirty Years War, which led to a new concept of the nation state which he calls the Westphalian system The reason this system is significant is that, The Westphalian system spread around the world as the framework for a state based international order spanning multiple civilizations and regions because, as the European nations expanded, they carried the blueprint of their international order with them He examines how and why this system worked in Europe in the succeeding centuries, how it came to define modern international relations, and to what extent it applied to other parts of the world during different epochs.He is at his most engaging and entertaining when he his introducing the vast array of characters who populate this narrative He peoples his story with a thousand and one fascinating characters Augustine of Hippo, Richelieu, Bismarck, Kautilya, Palmerston, Sayyid Qutb, Sadat, Mao Zedong, all described in such detail as to seem to be personal friends of Kissinger, or, if not friends, at least the best of enemies.Kissinger s keen insights and analysis are dispassionate and profound They are often based on his unequaled direct experience of many of the situations his discusses from the eternal conflict in the Middle East through the reappearance of Islam as a world force to the renaissance of the ancient civilizations of China and India as global powers.His greatest contribution as a commentator is his ability to place current world affairs deftly into their proper historical context He combines the insight of a learned historian with the statesman s meticulous grasp of naked realpolitick This book is a worthy successor of Diplomacy, and should be highly valued for its clear sighted, unsentimental, and highly informed view of current world politics


  2. Gary Gary says:

    This book has a deep knowledge and eloquence about the history of foreign policy and diplomacy But its analysis of recent events is rendered treacly by his almost embarrassing unwillingness to say a bad word about any modern president and particularly those who have asked him for advice and counsel Of course, this is the man who was famous for his withering comments about almost everybody and everything, so this gently gently approach not only rings false but robs his comments of any real p This book has a deep knowledge and eloquence about the history of foreign policy and diplomacy But its analysis of recent events is rendered treacly by his almost embarrassing unwillingness to say a bad word about any modern president and particularly those who have asked him for advice and counsel Of course, this is the man who was famous for his withering comments about almost everybody and everything, so this gently gently approach not only rings false but robs his comments of any real punch On the Middle East he essentially throws up his hands in despair and takes refuge in the Huntingtonian thesis of a clash of civilizations and perhaps the inevitability of war The Islamists radical denunciation of the Western Westphalian state system a phenomenon that could accurately be applied to Germany, France and China at various times in the past now makes it impossible to engage Thus, he essentially dismisses the nuclear talks with Iran on the ideological grounds that the Leader s revolutionary statements mean they can t be trusted This coming from a man who negotiated with the Soviets and Mao himself He never addresses Obama s proposal to rebalance US policy toward Asia while reducing US involvement in regional conflicts in the Middle East actually a very Kissingerian notion that reflects the purposes of the Nixon Doctrine of which he was a major architect but any positive word in that direction would put him at odds with both the Republican leadership and Israel both of whom generally escape notice in this book He raises truly important questions at the end How you can build a modern Westphalian world order in this age when communications and economic globalization are destroying the very borders on which the European state system was founded His solution that these enormous forces must be subjected to international rules and brought under the control of responsible statesmen is appealing but lacking in even a rudimentary roadmap He does stress repeatedly that the Peace of Westphalia was possible only after the ravages of the Thirty Years War had nearly reduced the system to rubble and the statesmen involved were prepared to make decisions out of sheer existential necessity Perhaps the catastrophes of the modern Middle East will eventually result in such a sober conclave when all the fight has been drained from all parties But there is no sign that we are there yet


  3. Domhnall Domhnall says:

    I do not share many opinions with Kissinger and he will not be very troubled to hear this but given that he has played such an important part in world politics, and has been directly engaged in decisions as serious as war and peace, it is well worth while to see the myths by which he lives The first two chapters set out his understanding of power politicsNo truly global world order has ever existed What passes for order in our time was devised in Western Europe nearly four centuriesI do not share many opinions with Kissinger and he will not be very troubled to hear this but given that he has played such an important part in world politics, and has been directly engaged in decisions as serious as war and peace, it is well worth while to see the myths by which he lives The first two chapters set out his understanding of power politicsNo truly global world order has ever existed What passes for order in our time was devised in Western Europe nearly four centuries ago at a peace conference in the German region of Westphalia, conducted without the involvement or even the awareness of most other continents or civilisations The Westphalian peace reflected a practical accommodation, not a unique moral insight It relied on a system of independent states refraining from interference in each other s domestic affairs and checking each other s ambitions through a general equilibrium of power Division and multiplicity, an accident of Europe s history, became the hallmarks of a new system of international order with its own distinct outlookHe contrasts this system with the Russian project of that time, to impose a single, autocratic ruler and a unified religious orthodoxy over a continually expanding empire with the Chinese Emperor holding sway over All Under Heaven, the pinnacle of a cultural hierarchy radiating from the centre of the world in the Chinese capital outward to all of humanity with Islam s vision of a single, divinely sanctioned governance uniting and pacifying the world Kissinger argues that in time, the USA also departed from the Westphalian model, instead advocating liberal democracy and free market economics as a universal aspiration to be actively promoted and even imposed He never actually seems to criticise the USA s actions, but it is hard not to use his theoretical framework to identify major problems Kissinger s sweeping survey of the use made in Europe of the Balance of Power, not to prevent war but to restrain its violence and scope, is to my mind very clever, culminating in a snappy explanation for the outbreak and consequences of the First World War With his model in mind, it becomes terribly easy to see the strategic disaster of the way that war was ended, failing to draw either Germany or Russia into the new order, installing a string of small and hard to defend states along their borders, virtually inviting the great powers to snack on them at leisure He contrasts this with the 1815 peace after the defeat of Napoleon, when France was immediately restored to its proper place in the order of things He moves on to give a dry and not very useful account of the Middle East and modern Islam, in which Israel is hardly noticed, before a muchlively chapter about Iran This is both informative and, to my surprise, respectful of the Iranian approach to diplomacy Quite simply the Iranian strategy is to seek the complete removal of American and Western influence from the region and to replace the colonial legacy with a restoration of Islamic culture It is not difficult to consider this account as one that would be compatible with the sentiments in Edward Said s Orientalism, as others too have observed Of course, Kissinger does not dwell on the negative aspects of America s role in the region Although this comes later in the book, his account of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are brief but not without insights His discussion of Afghanistan especially give a strong impression that he has no patience with American fantasies about the introduction of a western style democracy into a land of diverse local tribes, lacking traditions of even centralized government, and he implies that stronger neighbours will almost certainly intervene in time, reiterating the violent cycle His discussions of Japan and of India are succinct He has farto say about China, not least to emphasize the continuity of modern and historic Chinese diplomatic strategies, but he talks about Mao in such bland terms that we have to assume he is being diplomatic himself This does not matter we have other sources for that Two chapters directly concerned with the history of the USA give a very clear exposition of the major events of the past two centuries and offer some good insights, notably in his brief discussion of the Vietnam War and the domestic US opposition to that He is not at all embarrassed to describe the various expressions of American exceptionalism which to my mind are in fact unpleasant He quotes Thomas JeffersonWe feel that we are acting under obligations not confined to the limits of our own society It is impossible not to be sensible that we are acting for all mankind that circumstances denied to others, but indulged to us, have imposed on us the duty of proving what is the degree of freedom and self government in which a society may venture to leave its individual membersThis is a thread running through the story of the USA, heard for instance in President Reagan s speech about the USA as a City on the Hill I have no problem with the idea that the world should watch and learn from America s experience, albeit many of those lessons are starkly negative, but I do object to the delusion that the world offers no reciprocal lessons for the Americans The book closes with a review of some implications of new technologies, most importantly nuclear weapons and proliferation, but also cyber warfare and the political impact of the internet and search enginesFor most of history, technological change unfolded over decades and centuries of incremental advances that refined and combined existing technologies Even radical innovations could over time be fitted within previous tactical and strategic doctrines tanks were considered in terms of precedents drawn from centuries of cavalry warfare, airplanes could be conceptualised as another form of artillery, battleships as mobile forts, and aircraft carriers as airstrips For all their magnification of destructive power, even nuclear weapons are in some respects an extrapolation from previous experience He goes on from this to worry that computers and the internet might present insoluble problems but that is hardly the lesson to draw from the lines just quoted He seems specifically worried that the role of serious minded foreign policy experts might be undermined and a lower calibre of politician attracted to high officeWhat once had been substantive debates about the content of governance will reduce candidates to being spokesmen for a marketing effort The candidates main role may become fund raising rather than the elaboration of issues Is the marketing effort designed to convey the candidates convictions or are the convictions expressed by the candidate the reflections of a big data research effort If the gap between the qualities required for election and those essential for the conduct of office becomes too wide, the conceptual grasp and sense of history that should be part of foreign policy may be lost This book will certainly help to give us a better conceptual grasp and sense of history It does paint a pretty picture of American activities on the world stage, and omits mention altogether of some difficult topics notably Israel, or Central America but to be fair it leaves enough material to permit achallenging interpretation If he were forced to be honest, I am confident he would agree that America s role as a City on the Hill is simply not in keeping with the Westphalian values which Kissinger presents as such an excellent model for a new world order He does not advocate a perfect world, but one that we can all live in, with our diverse values and priorities I like that model and much to my surprise, I very much liked Kissinger s book


  4. Saadia B. || Hustle, Bustle and Hurdles Saadia B. || Hustle, Bustle and Hurdles says:

    Concept of World Order was defined and its implementation determined in Europe Before that, with no means of interacting with each other on a substantial basis and no framework for measuring the power of one region against another, each order vowed its own as unique and defined others as barbarians The structure established in the Peace of Westphalia which represented the first attempt to institutionalise order on the basis of agreed rules and limits and to base it on a multiplicity of powers Concept of World Order was defined and its implementation determined in Europe Before that, with no means of interacting with each other on a substantial basis and no framework for measuring the power of one region against another, each order vowed its own as unique and defined others as barbarians The structure established in the Peace of Westphalia which represented the first attempt to institutionalise order on the basis of agreed rules and limits and to base it on a multiplicity of powers rather than the dominance of a single country Westphalian system spread around the world as the framework for a state based international order spanning multiple civilisations and regions.After the collapse of Soviet Union, America emerged as the new super power China followed suit with its emerging economy, today China and America are both indispensable pillars of the world order historically both have exhibited an ambivalent attitude towards the international order they now anchor The essence of building a constructive world order is that no single country whether US or China is in a position to fill by itself the world order leadership role that US occupied after Cold War period when it was materially and psychologically preeminent American policy is to prevent hegemony in Asia while China s policy is to keep potentially adversial forces from its borders American foreign policy reflects the conviction that its domestically self evidently universal and its application at all times is salutary The openness of American culture and its democratic principles made US a model and refugee for millions However its compulsion to attack Afghanistan and later on Iraq is one the challenge which has no answer to it The wreck has left the world in havoc Facts are rarely self explanatory their significance, analysis and interpretation at least in the foreign policy world depend on content and relevance Hence the concept of truth is relativized and individualized, losing its universal character The Westphalian system followed by US today did not supply a sense of direction, it dealt with methods of allocating and preserving power but gave no answer to the problem of how to generate legitimacy The structure of the 21st century world order lacks in 4 important dimensions 1 The nature of the state itself2 Political and economical organizations of the world are at variance with one another3 Absence of an effective mechanism for the great powers to consult and possibly cooperate on the most consequential issues4 American leadership has been indispensable, tries to sought a balance between stability and advocacy of universal principles not always reconcilable with the principles of sovereign noninterference For US, the quest of world order functions on two levels a The celebration of universal principles needs to be paired with a recognition of the reality of other regions histories and culturesb A purposeful American role will be philosophically and geopolitically imperative for the challenges


  5. Maciej Nowicki Maciej Nowicki says:

    World Order is an impressive study that focuses on the geopolitical distribution of power The book methodically provides a multitude of studies enhanced by anecdotal personal experience of the author Worth to say that Henry Kissinger served as the 56th Secretary of State under presidents Nixon and Ford and as the National Security Advisor for six years During that time he pioneered the policy vs the Soviet Union He orchestrated the opening of relations with China and negotiated the Paris pea World Order is an impressive study that focuses on the geopolitical distribution of power The book methodically provides a multitude of studies enhanced by anecdotal personal experience of the author Worth to say that Henry Kissinger served as the 56th Secretary of State under presidents Nixon and Ford and as the National Security Advisor for six years During that time he pioneered the policy vs the Soviet Union He orchestrated the opening of relations with China and negotiated the Paris peace accord which accomplished the withdrawal of American forces from Vietnam for which he won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1973.Anyway, the book covers roughly 400 years of diplomatic geopolitical and military history and five continents The author focuses predominantly on Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and the US The chapters detail the regional history and a perspective on cultural differences that create fracturing in understanding and negotiation In the beginning, we receive a tract describing the distribution of power in Europe and how the Peace of Westphalia gave the model for stability From this point on, the author refers to the Westphalian model regularly World order is also a comprehensive analysis of the challenges of building international order in a world of differing perspectives, violent conflicts, burgeoning technology and ideological extremism In addition, the book states many great questions which might be really suprising, but the most important one is if you like to read my full review please visit my blog


  6. Vipassana Vipassana says:

    As an Indian, I was taught to despise Henry Kissinger much before I knew anything about him This is strongly rooted in his insults of Indira Gandhi, Indians and support of Pakistan during the Bangladesh Liberation War The reason I picked up this book is because Hillary Clinton called Kissinger a friend at some point during the US presidential election campaigns This lead to a bunch of paralysing analyses and opinion pieces on the statement Surely, he couldn t have been entirely the monster h As an Indian, I was taught to despise Henry Kissinger much before I knew anything about him This is strongly rooted in his insults of Indira Gandhi, Indians and support of Pakistan during the Bangladesh Liberation War The reason I picked up this book is because Hillary Clinton called Kissinger a friend at some point during the US presidential election campaigns This lead to a bunch of paralysing analyses and opinion pieces on the statement Surely, he couldn t have been entirely the monster he has been painted as in India.Very early on in the book, I understood the controversy For all of his disastrous interventions around the world, he has also thought quite deeply about world order from the paradigm of power relations between nations Foreign policy is a high stakes endeavour and Kissinger argues convincingly that a do nothing policy by the US has huge implications because of its power in the international arena I get the sense that Kissinger has had some change of beliefs throughout his career or at least I hope soLong ago, in youth, I was brash enough to think myself able to pronounce on The Meaning of History I now know that history s meaning is a matter to be discovered, not declaredHowever, this book isn t about Kissinger and but his notion of how world order can be achieved Kissinger advocates the Westphalian model of balance of power, and believes that the world s acceptance of that model is tied to historical forms of governance, religion and culture He then compares the models of governance in other parts of the world, primarily the Middle East, Iran, India, China and Japan These regions have all become part of the international community with differing motives and have varying views on the purpose of the international community Some interesting things I learnt were Saudi Arabia s need to find legitimacy among radicals and yet interact with the international community, Japan s forceful opening up to the western world, the ancient political strategy of India s Kautilya and mostly what a glaringly different ball game domestic policy and foreign policy are He offers some fair criticisms of the Obama administration, primarily that Obama withdrew for the world stage in a manner that proved to be a misstep.There are some glaring inconsistencies He believes in maintaining the balance of power in the Middle East, but supports the Iraq war which ends up emboldened Iran I will admit that it scomplicated than what I have just phrased In a different context Kissinger cautions against heuristics to make policy Yet, his moral appeal to the plight of persecuted Iraqis under Saddam Hussein, rang a little hollow He staunchly refuses to apologize for Iraq, and the entire section on the war felt so moralizing and unlike Kissinger in the rest of the book that I feel like Kissinger has detangled some of the complexity, but is unwilling to reveal it to his readers.One thing that struck me was the Kissinger still believes that the US will have the power and should remain an active player in the world stage However, he concludes accepting that the Westphalian model of governance gives rise to questions of legitimacy that haven t been addressed It seems evident to me that Foreign Policy solely on the basis of power is insufficient This is not a notion that Kissinger conveys, but my own loosely held opinion His analysis of how technology has shaped policy making and politics was impressive Kissinger fears that technology and Big Data will make policyrule based, than analytical He cites research to say that as we are able to storeandin devices, we become less capable of recalling certain things The shift towards appealing to the electorate s emotions has had a profound effect on current events As he says, We live in a wondrous time, in which the strong is weak because of his scruples and the weak grows strong because of his audacity. I wonder now, where Kissinger would place himself on the spectrum of scruples and audacity I feel cautious about appreciating the man, but blown away by how much I learnt from this book.Foreign policy is incredibly complex February 8th, 2017


  7. Trish Trish says:

    This is a book that begs to be studied, not just read Kissinger has spent his career thinking about world order and in this book he looks both forward and back, eliminating much of the static in the view we have of historical events The result is a clear outline of national interests, power, and its balance through recent history, centered especially on the U.S perspective, its intents and its perceived responsibilities The discussion is helpful, and useful However, in eliminating the nois This is a book that begs to be studied, not just read Kissinger has spent his career thinking about world order and in this book he looks both forward and back, eliminating much of the static in the view we have of historical events The result is a clear outline of national interests, power, and its balance through recent history, centered especially on the U.S perspective, its intents and its perceived responsibilities The discussion is helpful, and useful However, in eliminating the noise from the systems and structures he presents, Kissinger may lead us to think within the framework he has created In looking forward, a new world order must be something outside any previous framework wisdom counsels that a different path must be chosen To undertake a journey on a road never before traveled requires character and courage The cyber world developing around us changes everything A reconstruction of the international system is the ultimate challenge to statesmanship of our time.Beginning with the Treaty of Westphalia after the Thirty Years War of 1618 48 in which nearly a quarter of Central Europe s population was decimated, we see the structure of world order based on national sovereignty The Westphalian peace reflected a practical accommodation to reality, not a unique moral insight It relied on a system of independent states refraining from interference in each other s domestic affairs and checking each other s ambitions through a general equilibrium of power No single claim to truth or universal rule had prevailed in Europe s contests Instead, each state was assigned the attribute of sovereign power over its territory Each would acknowledge the domestic structures and religions vocations of its fellow states as realities and refrain from challenging their existence With a balance of power now perceived as natural and desirable, the ambitions of rulers would be set in counterpose against each other, at least in theory curtailing the scope of conflicts Division and multiplicity, an accident of Europe s history, became the hallmarks of a new system of international order with this own distinct philosophical outlook In this sense the European effort to end its conflagration shaped and prefigured the modern sensibility it reserved judgment on the absolute in favor of the practical and ecumenical it sought to distill order from multiplicity and restraint Although China had little involvement with the world and no interest in the Westphalian system of order for centuries, it adheres to and calls on its principles now, when that system of beliefs is being eroded and perhaps even abandoned by the West Kissinger points out that the Westphalian system of world order based on precepts of national sovereignty and non interference in other nations affairs, is not working in the way it had been for centuries Kissinger suggests that while in Asia states still adhere to the Westphalian model, the system is breaking down in Europe where economic and military interests are grouped while political power is based on the nation In the Middle East, a radical Islamic group seeks to operate regionally, ignoring state boundaries Since 2001 the United Nations has adopted new responsibilities that directly challenge Westphalian principles asserting the the responsibility to protect and intervention as a duty of care even within the boundaries sovereign states The cyber world features asymmetric power imbalances in which one laptop outside the boundaries of a nation can disable powerful national and international systems.Regarding technological changes that have changed our notion of speed, and information, Kissinger says Cyberspace has become strategically indispensable The history of warfare shows that every technological offensive capability will eventually be matched and offset by defensive measures, although not every country will be equally able to afford them, Does this mean that technologically less advanced countries must shelter under the protection of high tech societies Nor is it possible to base deterrence in cyberspace on symmetrical retaliation, as in the case with nuclear weapons In the end, a framework for organizing the global cyber environment will be imperative The dilemma of such technologies is that it is impossible to establish rules of conduct unless a common understanding of at least some of the key capabilities exists But these are precisely the capabilities the major actors will be reluctant to disclose In this manner, asymmetry and a kind of congenital world disorder are built into relations between cyber powers both in diplomacy and strategy The emphasis of many strategic rivalries is shifting from the physical to the information realm, in the collection and processing of data, the penetration of networks, and the manipulation of psychology Absent articulation of some rules of international conduct, a crisis will arise from the inner dynamics of the system.I guess we have Snowden to thank for revealing that all is known Warfare can now move to the psychological What is it you think you know There is perhaps no better time to think about the imperative for establishment of a new world order Kissinger suggests that America must retain her moral compass but not abandon her sense of realism Society needs to adapt its education policy ultimate imperatives in the long term direction of the country and in the cultivation of its values The inventors of the devices that have so revolutionized the collection and sharing of information can make an equal if not greater contribution by devising means to deepen its conceptual foundation On the way to the first truly global world order, the great human achievements of technology must be fused with enhanced powers of humane, transcendent, and moral judgment The suggestion that the technologists that bring us our systems for connection be involved in deepening its conceptual foundations is an interesting one But perhapsimportantly, we need to move as the people of one nation to make that understanding of the internet s uses and abuses a part of our moral and ethical decision making These things can be taught The task ahead seems insurmountable, and the tasks addressed without knowing the outcomes of our choices Kissinger reminds us that the Westphalian system was drafted by some two hundred delegates, none of whom has entered the annals of history as a major figure, who met in two provincial German towns forty miles apart a significant distance in the seventeenth century in two separate groups They overcame their obstacles because they shared the devastating experience of the Thirty Years War, and they were determined to prevent its recurrence Our time, facing even graver prospects, needs to act on its necessities before it is engulfed by them Kissinger leaves us with a series of questions we need to ask ourselves in order to frame an outline to begin discussing this issue in earnest It is a gift Elder statesmen are rare beings, and whatever else he may have been called, Kissinger can claim that title He is now an old man, an old man with long vision He helps us by reminding us to get a grip, look within, take stock of our urgent responsibilities to our children, to be brave and take the steps needed to preserve and protect our country and our liberty To this point, I have addressed and quoted only the first and final pages of this book In the rest of it, Kissinger gives us distilled observations, opinions, and insights from a lifetime of looking at historical underpinnings and the foreign affairs of nations, and of our own There is no flab in these pages It is enlightening Kissinger was at his influence apogee in the Nixon administration and he speaks longingly of Nixon s willingness and ability to think in strategic terms Nixon treated foreign policy as an endeavor with no end, as a set of rhythms to be managed He dealt with its intricacies and contradictions like school assignments by an especially demanding teacher We have that teacher in this book, challenging us to lead.I listened to the Penguin Random House Audio of this title, read with appropriate pacing and gravitas by Nicholas Hormann Listening helped to bring some elements of the discussion into clarity I supplemented listening with the text, published by Penguin


  8. Jack Jack says:

    Kissinger can write a book His wisdom and depth of understanding are phenomenal He discusses the concept of world order Or what we perceive as world order based off of the Westphalian system of states from 1648 Now we progress through that of empires and their disintegration after World War I What nextin reality not much except a hiatus of hostilities which broke out fully in World War II The next great phase is that of the Cold War, NATO, the rise of the oil states, and the post coloni Kissinger can write a book His wisdom and depth of understanding are phenomenal He discusses the concept of world order Or what we perceive as world order based off of the Westphalian system of states from 1648 Now we progress through that of empires and their disintegration after World War I What nextin reality not much except a hiatus of hostilities which broke out fully in World War II The next great phase is that of the Cold War, NATO, the rise of the oil states, and the post colonial era where the colonies threw off the yoke of the colonial masters The monoliths were the Soviet Union and the US They divided the world in a way The free and those of the communist block Mixed in this was the subtle rise or the whispers of radical Islam The mixing of the lineup of Islamic nations versus the rest do usthe European nations and the US where it remains today I could go on and on A fantastic book written by one of the greatest of statesmanmaybe the lastHenry Kissinger


  9. Laura Noggle Laura Noggle says:

    Stirring conclusion, impressive in scope, valid analysis Kissinger is an astute statesman even if I don t agree with him on every point Looking forward to reading his book On China, as I lived in Beijing for several years and earned my MA in international China studies while living in Taiwan.


  10. Syed Fathi Syed Fathi says:

    As oppose to many mainstream media many regards Kissinger as a war criminal The architect of many US backed coup and war around the world especially during his tenure as national security advisor during Nixon s presidency The most memorable and shameful of all was the US war in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, which minimum estimate put the death toll at at least 4 million people.Having this fact in mind, it is a hypocrite at a maximum level when in the book, Kissinger mark US role in the global As oppose to many mainstream media many regards Kissinger as a war criminal The architect of many US backed coup and war around the world especially during his tenure as national security advisor during Nixon s presidency The most memorable and shameful of all was the US war in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, which minimum estimate put the death toll at at least 4 million people.Having this fact in mind, it is a hypocrite at a maximum level when in the book, Kissinger mark US role in the global order as acting for all mankind , he talked about how US would go into war to spread democracy, freedom and its value, while in reality it supported various coup and suppressive regimes for their national interest But one thing I admire him most, is his effort to justify all wars no matter how shameful it was, even if it was popularly oppose domestically The book also show case Kissinger s strong belief in the American Exceptionalism, phrases likeUS was not simply a country but an engine of God s plan and epitome of world order ,international society was like a frontier settlement without an effective police force ,America would emerge as the decisive guardian of the global balance and international peace ,American idealism and exceptionalism were the driving forces behind the building of a new international orderwas everywhere in the book.Having said all these, it does not mean that the book lack some good quality in term of knowledge and thought His explanation on how Europe overcome their war torn countries and resolving to eventually develop Wesphalian system was helpful and easy to understand His analysis on Japan, China and India will help reader to understand why nations treat their foreign policy differently Lastly, his conclusion on the rising power of social media also will guide readers on the question why we tend to diverge on the definition of truth


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World Order: Reflections on the Character of Nations and the Course of History❮Epub❯ ➝ World Order: Reflections on the Character of Nations and the Course of History Author Henry Kissinger – Polishdarling.co.uk In World Order, Henry Kissinger one of the leading practitioners of world diplomacy and author of On China makes his monumental investigation into the tectonic plates of global history and state relat Reflections on eBook ↠ In World Order, Henry Kissinger one of the leading practitioners of world diplomacy and author of On China makes his monumental investigation into the tectonic plates of global history and state relations World Order is the summation of Henry Kissinger s thinking about history, strategy and statecraft As if taking a perspective from far above the World Order: eBook É globe, it examines the great tectonic plates of history and the motivations of nations, explaining the attitudes that states and empires have taken to the rest of the world from the formation of Europe to our own timesKissinger identifies four great world orders in history the European, Islamic, Chinese and American Since the end of Charlemagne s Order: Reflections on PDF/EPUB ¿ empire, and especially since the Peace of Westphalia in , Europeans have striven for balance in international affairs, first in their own continent and then globally Islamic states have looked to their destined expansion over regions populated by unbelievers, a position exemplified today by Iran under the ayatollahs For overyears the Chinese have seen all under Heaven as being tributary to the Chinese Emperor America views itself as a city on a hill , a beacon to the world, whose values have universal validity How have these attitudes evolved and how have they shaped the histories of their nations, regions, and the rest of the world What has happened when they have come into contact with each other How have they balanced legitimacy and power at different times What is the condition of each in our contemporary world, and how are they shaping relations between states now To answer these questions Henry Kissinger draws upon a lifetime s historical study and unmatched experience as a world statesman His account is shot through with observations about how historical change takes place, how some leaders shape their times and others fail to do so, and how far states can stray from the ideas which define them World Order is a masterpiece of narrative, analysis and portraits of great historical actors that only Henry Kissinger could have written.


About the Author: Henry Kissinger

Reflections on eBook ↠ Henry Alfred Kissinger born Heinz Alfred Kissinger is a German born American bureaucrat, diplomat, and Nobel Peace Prize laureate He served as National Security Advisor and later concurrently as Secretary of State in the Richard Nixon administration Kissinger emerged unscathed from the Watergate scandal, and maintained his powerful position when Gerald Ford became PresidentA proponent World Order: eBook É of Realpolitik, Kissinger played a dominant role in United States foreign policy between and During this period, he pioneered the policy of d tenteDuring his time in the Nixon and Ford administrations he cut a flamboyant figure, appearing at social occasions with many celebrities His foreign policy record made him a nemesis to the anti Order: Reflections on PDF/EPUB ¿ war left and the anti communist right alike.



10 thoughts on “World Order: Reflections on the Character of Nations and the Course of History

  1. Chris Ziesler Chris Ziesler says:

    I approached this book with a little trepidation My two previous experiences with Kissinger s earlier books were Diplomacy, which I found pithy, insightful and very enlightening and his three volume memoirs which I found to be overwhelming in their level of detail and which eventually defeated my best efforts to read them Which Kissinger would be the author of World Order I worried unnecessarily World Order is a master class on Foreign Affairs given by a virtuoso on the subject Kissinger s I approached this book with a little trepidation My two previous experiences with Kissinger s earlier books were Diplomacy, which I found pithy, insightful and very enlightening and his three volume memoirs which I found to be overwhelming in their level of detail and which eventually defeated my best efforts to read them Which Kissinger would be the author of World Order I worried unnecessarily World Order is a master class on Foreign Affairs given by a virtuoso on the subject Kissinger s grasp of the historical and cultural background of the present world situation is comprehensive and deeply learned His central theme is the perennial interplay between legitimacy and power which he illustrates by examining the evolution of order in successive sphere s of influence Europe, the Middle East, Asia, the United States He also dissects how certain key international relationships have arisen and are developing US Iran, China India, Islam with the Christian West He concludes by assessing what role technology plays now and likely to play in the future His leitmotif and touchstone is the Treaty of Westphalia signed in 1648, at the end of the Thirty Years War, which led to a new concept of the nation state which he calls the Westphalian system The reason this system is significant is that, The Westphalian system spread around the world as the framework for a state based international order spanning multiple civilizations and regions because, as the European nations expanded, they carried the blueprint of their international order with them He examines how and why this system worked in Europe in the succeeding centuries, how it came to define modern international relations, and to what extent it applied to other parts of the world during different epochs.He is at his most engaging and entertaining when he his introducing the vast array of characters who populate this narrative He peoples his story with a thousand and one fascinating characters Augustine of Hippo, Richelieu, Bismarck, Kautilya, Palmerston, Sayyid Qutb, Sadat, Mao Zedong, all described in such detail as to seem to be personal friends of Kissinger, or, if not friends, at least the best of enemies.Kissinger s keen insights and analysis are dispassionate and profound They are often based on his unequaled direct experience of many of the situations his discusses from the eternal conflict in the Middle East through the reappearance of Islam as a world force to the renaissance of the ancient civilizations of China and India as global powers.His greatest contribution as a commentator is his ability to place current world affairs deftly into their proper historical context He combines the insight of a learned historian with the statesman s meticulous grasp of naked realpolitick This book is a worthy successor of Diplomacy, and should be highly valued for its clear sighted, unsentimental, and highly informed view of current world politics


  2. Gary Gary says:

    This book has a deep knowledge and eloquence about the history of foreign policy and diplomacy But its analysis of recent events is rendered treacly by his almost embarrassing unwillingness to say a bad word about any modern president and particularly those who have asked him for advice and counsel Of course, this is the man who was famous for his withering comments about almost everybody and everything, so this gently gently approach not only rings false but robs his comments of any real p This book has a deep knowledge and eloquence about the history of foreign policy and diplomacy But its analysis of recent events is rendered treacly by his almost embarrassing unwillingness to say a bad word about any modern president and particularly those who have asked him for advice and counsel Of course, this is the man who was famous for his withering comments about almost everybody and everything, so this gently gently approach not only rings false but robs his comments of any real punch On the Middle East he essentially throws up his hands in despair and takes refuge in the Huntingtonian thesis of a clash of civilizations and perhaps the inevitability of war The Islamists radical denunciation of the Western Westphalian state system a phenomenon that could accurately be applied to Germany, France and China at various times in the past now makes it impossible to engage Thus, he essentially dismisses the nuclear talks with Iran on the ideological grounds that the Leader s revolutionary statements mean they can t be trusted This coming from a man who negotiated with the Soviets and Mao himself He never addresses Obama s proposal to rebalance US policy toward Asia while reducing US involvement in regional conflicts in the Middle East actually a very Kissingerian notion that reflects the purposes of the Nixon Doctrine of which he was a major architect but any positive word in that direction would put him at odds with both the Republican leadership and Israel both of whom generally escape notice in this book He raises truly important questions at the end How you can build a modern Westphalian world order in this age when communications and economic globalization are destroying the very borders on which the European state system was founded His solution that these enormous forces must be subjected to international rules and brought under the control of responsible statesmen is appealing but lacking in even a rudimentary roadmap He does stress repeatedly that the Peace of Westphalia was possible only after the ravages of the Thirty Years War had nearly reduced the system to rubble and the statesmen involved were prepared to make decisions out of sheer existential necessity Perhaps the catastrophes of the modern Middle East will eventually result in such a sober conclave when all the fight has been drained from all parties But there is no sign that we are there yet


  3. Domhnall Domhnall says:

    I do not share many opinions with Kissinger and he will not be very troubled to hear this but given that he has played such an important part in world politics, and has been directly engaged in decisions as serious as war and peace, it is well worth while to see the myths by which he lives The first two chapters set out his understanding of power politicsNo truly global world order has ever existed What passes for order in our time was devised in Western Europe nearly four centuriesI do not share many opinions with Kissinger and he will not be very troubled to hear this but given that he has played such an important part in world politics, and has been directly engaged in decisions as serious as war and peace, it is well worth while to see the myths by which he lives The first two chapters set out his understanding of power politicsNo truly global world order has ever existed What passes for order in our time was devised in Western Europe nearly four centuries ago at a peace conference in the German region of Westphalia, conducted without the involvement or even the awareness of most other continents or civilisations The Westphalian peace reflected a practical accommodation, not a unique moral insight It relied on a system of independent states refraining from interference in each other s domestic affairs and checking each other s ambitions through a general equilibrium of power Division and multiplicity, an accident of Europe s history, became the hallmarks of a new system of international order with its own distinct outlookHe contrasts this system with the Russian project of that time, to impose a single, autocratic ruler and a unified religious orthodoxy over a continually expanding empire with the Chinese Emperor holding sway over All Under Heaven, the pinnacle of a cultural hierarchy radiating from the centre of the world in the Chinese capital outward to all of humanity with Islam s vision of a single, divinely sanctioned governance uniting and pacifying the world Kissinger argues that in time, the USA also departed from the Westphalian model, instead advocating liberal democracy and free market economics as a universal aspiration to be actively promoted and even imposed He never actually seems to criticise the USA s actions, but it is hard not to use his theoretical framework to identify major problems Kissinger s sweeping survey of the use made in Europe of the Balance of Power, not to prevent war but to restrain its violence and scope, is to my mind very clever, culminating in a snappy explanation for the outbreak and consequences of the First World War With his model in mind, it becomes terribly easy to see the strategic disaster of the way that war was ended, failing to draw either Germany or Russia into the new order, installing a string of small and hard to defend states along their borders, virtually inviting the great powers to snack on them at leisure He contrasts this with the 1815 peace after the defeat of Napoleon, when France was immediately restored to its proper place in the order of things He moves on to give a dry and not very useful account of the Middle East and modern Islam, in which Israel is hardly noticed, before a muchlively chapter about Iran This is both informative and, to my surprise, respectful of the Iranian approach to diplomacy Quite simply the Iranian strategy is to seek the complete removal of American and Western influence from the region and to replace the colonial legacy with a restoration of Islamic culture It is not difficult to consider this account as one that would be compatible with the sentiments in Edward Said s Orientalism, as others too have observed Of course, Kissinger does not dwell on the negative aspects of America s role in the region Although this comes later in the book, his account of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are brief but not without insights His discussion of Afghanistan especially give a strong impression that he has no patience with American fantasies about the introduction of a western style democracy into a land of diverse local tribes, lacking traditions of even centralized government, and he implies that stronger neighbours will almost certainly intervene in time, reiterating the violent cycle His discussions of Japan and of India are succinct He has farto say about China, not least to emphasize the continuity of modern and historic Chinese diplomatic strategies, but he talks about Mao in such bland terms that we have to assume he is being diplomatic himself This does not matter we have other sources for that Two chapters directly concerned with the history of the USA give a very clear exposition of the major events of the past two centuries and offer some good insights, notably in his brief discussion of the Vietnam War and the domestic US opposition to that He is not at all embarrassed to describe the various expressions of American exceptionalism which to my mind are in fact unpleasant He quotes Thomas JeffersonWe feel that we are acting under obligations not confined to the limits of our own society It is impossible not to be sensible that we are acting for all mankind that circumstances denied to others, but indulged to us, have imposed on us the duty of proving what is the degree of freedom and self government in which a society may venture to leave its individual membersThis is a thread running through the story of the USA, heard for instance in President Reagan s speech about the USA as a City on the Hill I have no problem with the idea that the world should watch and learn from America s experience, albeit many of those lessons are starkly negative, but I do object to the delusion that the world offers no reciprocal lessons for the Americans The book closes with a review of some implications of new technologies, most importantly nuclear weapons and proliferation, but also cyber warfare and the political impact of the internet and search enginesFor most of history, technological change unfolded over decades and centuries of incremental advances that refined and combined existing technologies Even radical innovations could over time be fitted within previous tactical and strategic doctrines tanks were considered in terms of precedents drawn from centuries of cavalry warfare, airplanes could be conceptualised as another form of artillery, battleships as mobile forts, and aircraft carriers as airstrips For all their magnification of destructive power, even nuclear weapons are in some respects an extrapolation from previous experience He goes on from this to worry that computers and the internet might present insoluble problems but that is hardly the lesson to draw from the lines just quoted He seems specifically worried that the role of serious minded foreign policy experts might be undermined and a lower calibre of politician attracted to high officeWhat once had been substantive debates about the content of governance will reduce candidates to being spokesmen for a marketing effort The candidates main role may become fund raising rather than the elaboration of issues Is the marketing effort designed to convey the candidates convictions or are the convictions expressed by the candidate the reflections of a big data research effort If the gap between the qualities required for election and those essential for the conduct of office becomes too wide, the conceptual grasp and sense of history that should be part of foreign policy may be lost This book will certainly help to give us a better conceptual grasp and sense of history It does paint a pretty picture of American activities on the world stage, and omits mention altogether of some difficult topics notably Israel, or Central America but to be fair it leaves enough material to permit achallenging interpretation If he were forced to be honest, I am confident he would agree that America s role as a City on the Hill is simply not in keeping with the Westphalian values which Kissinger presents as such an excellent model for a new world order He does not advocate a perfect world, but one that we can all live in, with our diverse values and priorities I like that model and much to my surprise, I very much liked Kissinger s book


  4. Saadia B. || Hustle, Bustle and Hurdles Saadia B. || Hustle, Bustle and Hurdles says:

    Concept of World Order was defined and its implementation determined in Europe Before that, with no means of interacting with each other on a substantial basis and no framework for measuring the power of one region against another, each order vowed its own as unique and defined others as barbarians The structure established in the Peace of Westphalia which represented the first attempt to institutionalise order on the basis of agreed rules and limits and to base it on a multiplicity of powers Concept of World Order was defined and its implementation determined in Europe Before that, with no means of interacting with each other on a substantial basis and no framework for measuring the power of one region against another, each order vowed its own as unique and defined others as barbarians The structure established in the Peace of Westphalia which represented the first attempt to institutionalise order on the basis of agreed rules and limits and to base it on a multiplicity of powers rather than the dominance of a single country Westphalian system spread around the world as the framework for a state based international order spanning multiple civilisations and regions.After the collapse of Soviet Union, America emerged as the new super power China followed suit with its emerging economy, today China and America are both indispensable pillars of the world order historically both have exhibited an ambivalent attitude towards the international order they now anchor The essence of building a constructive world order is that no single country whether US or China is in a position to fill by itself the world order leadership role that US occupied after Cold War period when it was materially and psychologically preeminent American policy is to prevent hegemony in Asia while China s policy is to keep potentially adversial forces from its borders American foreign policy reflects the conviction that its domestically self evidently universal and its application at all times is salutary The openness of American culture and its democratic principles made US a model and refugee for millions However its compulsion to attack Afghanistan and later on Iraq is one the challenge which has no answer to it The wreck has left the world in havoc Facts are rarely self explanatory their significance, analysis and interpretation at least in the foreign policy world depend on content and relevance Hence the concept of truth is relativized and individualized, losing its universal character The Westphalian system followed by US today did not supply a sense of direction, it dealt with methods of allocating and preserving power but gave no answer to the problem of how to generate legitimacy The structure of the 21st century world order lacks in 4 important dimensions 1 The nature of the state itself2 Political and economical organizations of the world are at variance with one another3 Absence of an effective mechanism for the great powers to consult and possibly cooperate on the most consequential issues4 American leadership has been indispensable, tries to sought a balance between stability and advocacy of universal principles not always reconcilable with the principles of sovereign noninterference For US, the quest of world order functions on two levels a The celebration of universal principles needs to be paired with a recognition of the reality of other regions histories and culturesb A purposeful American role will be philosophically and geopolitically imperative for the challenges


  5. Maciej Nowicki Maciej Nowicki says:

    World Order is an impressive study that focuses on the geopolitical distribution of power The book methodically provides a multitude of studies enhanced by anecdotal personal experience of the author Worth to say that Henry Kissinger served as the 56th Secretary of State under presidents Nixon and Ford and as the National Security Advisor for six years During that time he pioneered the policy vs the Soviet Union He orchestrated the opening of relations with China and negotiated the Paris pea World Order is an impressive study that focuses on the geopolitical distribution of power The book methodically provides a multitude of studies enhanced by anecdotal personal experience of the author Worth to say that Henry Kissinger served as the 56th Secretary of State under presidents Nixon and Ford and as the National Security Advisor for six years During that time he pioneered the policy vs the Soviet Union He orchestrated the opening of relations with China and negotiated the Paris peace accord which accomplished the withdrawal of American forces from Vietnam for which he won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1973.Anyway, the book covers roughly 400 years of diplomatic geopolitical and military history and five continents The author focuses predominantly on Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and the US The chapters detail the regional history and a perspective on cultural differences that create fracturing in understanding and negotiation In the beginning, we receive a tract describing the distribution of power in Europe and how the Peace of Westphalia gave the model for stability From this point on, the author refers to the Westphalian model regularly World order is also a comprehensive analysis of the challenges of building international order in a world of differing perspectives, violent conflicts, burgeoning technology and ideological extremism In addition, the book states many great questions which might be really suprising, but the most important one is if you like to read my full review please visit my blog


  6. Vipassana Vipassana says:

    As an Indian, I was taught to despise Henry Kissinger much before I knew anything about him This is strongly rooted in his insults of Indira Gandhi, Indians and support of Pakistan during the Bangladesh Liberation War The reason I picked up this book is because Hillary Clinton called Kissinger a friend at some point during the US presidential election campaigns This lead to a bunch of paralysing analyses and opinion pieces on the statement Surely, he couldn t have been entirely the monster h As an Indian, I was taught to despise Henry Kissinger much before I knew anything about him This is strongly rooted in his insults of Indira Gandhi, Indians and support of Pakistan during the Bangladesh Liberation War The reason I picked up this book is because Hillary Clinton called Kissinger a friend at some point during the US presidential election campaigns This lead to a bunch of paralysing analyses and opinion pieces on the statement Surely, he couldn t have been entirely the monster he has been painted as in India.Very early on in the book, I understood the controversy For all of his disastrous interventions around the world, he has also thought quite deeply about world order from the paradigm of power relations between nations Foreign policy is a high stakes endeavour and Kissinger argues convincingly that a do nothing policy by the US has huge implications because of its power in the international arena I get the sense that Kissinger has had some change of beliefs throughout his career or at least I hope soLong ago, in youth, I was brash enough to think myself able to pronounce on The Meaning of History I now know that history s meaning is a matter to be discovered, not declaredHowever, this book isn t about Kissinger and but his notion of how world order can be achieved Kissinger advocates the Westphalian model of balance of power, and believes that the world s acceptance of that model is tied to historical forms of governance, religion and culture He then compares the models of governance in other parts of the world, primarily the Middle East, Iran, India, China and Japan These regions have all become part of the international community with differing motives and have varying views on the purpose of the international community Some interesting things I learnt were Saudi Arabia s need to find legitimacy among radicals and yet interact with the international community, Japan s forceful opening up to the western world, the ancient political strategy of India s Kautilya and mostly what a glaringly different ball game domestic policy and foreign policy are He offers some fair criticisms of the Obama administration, primarily that Obama withdrew for the world stage in a manner that proved to be a misstep.There are some glaring inconsistencies He believes in maintaining the balance of power in the Middle East, but supports the Iraq war which ends up emboldened Iran I will admit that it scomplicated than what I have just phrased In a different context Kissinger cautions against heuristics to make policy Yet, his moral appeal to the plight of persecuted Iraqis under Saddam Hussein, rang a little hollow He staunchly refuses to apologize for Iraq, and the entire section on the war felt so moralizing and unlike Kissinger in the rest of the book that I feel like Kissinger has detangled some of the complexity, but is unwilling to reveal it to his readers.One thing that struck me was the Kissinger still believes that the US will have the power and should remain an active player in the world stage However, he concludes accepting that the Westphalian model of governance gives rise to questions of legitimacy that haven t been addressed It seems evident to me that Foreign Policy solely on the basis of power is insufficient This is not a notion that Kissinger conveys, but my own loosely held opinion His analysis of how technology has shaped policy making and politics was impressive Kissinger fears that technology and Big Data will make policyrule based, than analytical He cites research to say that as we are able to storeandin devices, we become less capable of recalling certain things The shift towards appealing to the electorate s emotions has had a profound effect on current events As he says, We live in a wondrous time, in which the strong is weak because of his scruples and the weak grows strong because of his audacity. I wonder now, where Kissinger would place himself on the spectrum of scruples and audacity I feel cautious about appreciating the man, but blown away by how much I learnt from this book.Foreign policy is incredibly complex February 8th, 2017


  7. Trish Trish says:

    This is a book that begs to be studied, not just read Kissinger has spent his career thinking about world order and in this book he looks both forward and back, eliminating much of the static in the view we have of historical events The result is a clear outline of national interests, power, and its balance through recent history, centered especially on the U.S perspective, its intents and its perceived responsibilities The discussion is helpful, and useful However, in eliminating the nois This is a book that begs to be studied, not just read Kissinger has spent his career thinking about world order and in this book he looks both forward and back, eliminating much of the static in the view we have of historical events The result is a clear outline of national interests, power, and its balance through recent history, centered especially on the U.S perspective, its intents and its perceived responsibilities The discussion is helpful, and useful However, in eliminating the noise from the systems and structures he presents, Kissinger may lead us to think within the framework he has created In looking forward, a new world order must be something outside any previous framework wisdom counsels that a different path must be chosen To undertake a journey on a road never before traveled requires character and courage The cyber world developing around us changes everything A reconstruction of the international system is the ultimate challenge to statesmanship of our time.Beginning with the Treaty of Westphalia after the Thirty Years War of 1618 48 in which nearly a quarter of Central Europe s population was decimated, we see the structure of world order based on national sovereignty The Westphalian peace reflected a practical accommodation to reality, not a unique moral insight It relied on a system of independent states refraining from interference in each other s domestic affairs and checking each other s ambitions through a general equilibrium of power No single claim to truth or universal rule had prevailed in Europe s contests Instead, each state was assigned the attribute of sovereign power over its territory Each would acknowledge the domestic structures and religions vocations of its fellow states as realities and refrain from challenging their existence With a balance of power now perceived as natural and desirable, the ambitions of rulers would be set in counterpose against each other, at least in theory curtailing the scope of conflicts Division and multiplicity, an accident of Europe s history, became the hallmarks of a new system of international order with this own distinct philosophical outlook In this sense the European effort to end its conflagration shaped and prefigured the modern sensibility it reserved judgment on the absolute in favor of the practical and ecumenical it sought to distill order from multiplicity and restraint Although China had little involvement with the world and no interest in the Westphalian system of order for centuries, it adheres to and calls on its principles now, when that system of beliefs is being eroded and perhaps even abandoned by the West Kissinger points out that the Westphalian system of world order based on precepts of national sovereignty and non interference in other nations affairs, is not working in the way it had been for centuries Kissinger suggests that while in Asia states still adhere to the Westphalian model, the system is breaking down in Europe where economic and military interests are grouped while political power is based on the nation In the Middle East, a radical Islamic group seeks to operate regionally, ignoring state boundaries Since 2001 the United Nations has adopted new responsibilities that directly challenge Westphalian principles asserting the the responsibility to protect and intervention as a duty of care even within the boundaries sovereign states The cyber world features asymmetric power imbalances in which one laptop outside the boundaries of a nation can disable powerful national and international systems.Regarding technological changes that have changed our notion of speed, and information, Kissinger says Cyberspace has become strategically indispensable The history of warfare shows that every technological offensive capability will eventually be matched and offset by defensive measures, although not every country will be equally able to afford them, Does this mean that technologically less advanced countries must shelter under the protection of high tech societies Nor is it possible to base deterrence in cyberspace on symmetrical retaliation, as in the case with nuclear weapons In the end, a framework for organizing the global cyber environment will be imperative The dilemma of such technologies is that it is impossible to establish rules of conduct unless a common understanding of at least some of the key capabilities exists But these are precisely the capabilities the major actors will be reluctant to disclose In this manner, asymmetry and a kind of congenital world disorder are built into relations between cyber powers both in diplomacy and strategy The emphasis of many strategic rivalries is shifting from the physical to the information realm, in the collection and processing of data, the penetration of networks, and the manipulation of psychology Absent articulation of some rules of international conduct, a crisis will arise from the inner dynamics of the system.I guess we have Snowden to thank for revealing that all is known Warfare can now move to the psychological What is it you think you know There is perhaps no better time to think about the imperative for establishment of a new world order Kissinger suggests that America must retain her moral compass but not abandon her sense of realism Society needs to adapt its education policy ultimate imperatives in the long term direction of the country and in the cultivation of its values The inventors of the devices that have so revolutionized the collection and sharing of information can make an equal if not greater contribution by devising means to deepen its conceptual foundation On the way to the first truly global world order, the great human achievements of technology must be fused with enhanced powers of humane, transcendent, and moral judgment The suggestion that the technologists that bring us our systems for connection be involved in deepening its conceptual foundations is an interesting one But perhapsimportantly, we need to move as the people of one nation to make that understanding of the internet s uses and abuses a part of our moral and ethical decision making These things can be taught The task ahead seems insurmountable, and the tasks addressed without knowing the outcomes of our choices Kissinger reminds us that the Westphalian system was drafted by some two hundred delegates, none of whom has entered the annals of history as a major figure, who met in two provincial German towns forty miles apart a significant distance in the seventeenth century in two separate groups They overcame their obstacles because they shared the devastating experience of the Thirty Years War, and they were determined to prevent its recurrence Our time, facing even graver prospects, needs to act on its necessities before it is engulfed by them Kissinger leaves us with a series of questions we need to ask ourselves in order to frame an outline to begin discussing this issue in earnest It is a gift Elder statesmen are rare beings, and whatever else he may have been called, Kissinger can claim that title He is now an old man, an old man with long vision He helps us by reminding us to get a grip, look within, take stock of our urgent responsibilities to our children, to be brave and take the steps needed to preserve and protect our country and our liberty To this point, I have addressed and quoted only the first and final pages of this book In the rest of it, Kissinger gives us distilled observations, opinions, and insights from a lifetime of looking at historical underpinnings and the foreign affairs of nations, and of our own There is no flab in these pages It is enlightening Kissinger was at his influence apogee in the Nixon administration and he speaks longingly of Nixon s willingness and ability to think in strategic terms Nixon treated foreign policy as an endeavor with no end, as a set of rhythms to be managed He dealt with its intricacies and contradictions like school assignments by an especially demanding teacher We have that teacher in this book, challenging us to lead.I listened to the Penguin Random House Audio of this title, read with appropriate pacing and gravitas by Nicholas Hormann Listening helped to bring some elements of the discussion into clarity I supplemented listening with the text, published by Penguin


  8. Jack Jack says:

    Kissinger can write a book His wisdom and depth of understanding are phenomenal He discusses the concept of world order Or what we perceive as world order based off of the Westphalian system of states from 1648 Now we progress through that of empires and their disintegration after World War I What nextin reality not much except a hiatus of hostilities which broke out fully in World War II The next great phase is that of the Cold War, NATO, the rise of the oil states, and the post coloni Kissinger can write a book His wisdom and depth of understanding are phenomenal He discusses the concept of world order Or what we perceive as world order based off of the Westphalian system of states from 1648 Now we progress through that of empires and their disintegration after World War I What nextin reality not much except a hiatus of hostilities which broke out fully in World War II The next great phase is that of the Cold War, NATO, the rise of the oil states, and the post colonial era where the colonies threw off the yoke of the colonial masters The monoliths were the Soviet Union and the US They divided the world in a way The free and those of the communist block Mixed in this was the subtle rise or the whispers of radical Islam The mixing of the lineup of Islamic nations versus the rest do usthe European nations and the US where it remains today I could go on and on A fantastic book written by one of the greatest of statesmanmaybe the lastHenry Kissinger


  9. Laura Noggle Laura Noggle says:

    Stirring conclusion, impressive in scope, valid analysis Kissinger is an astute statesman even if I don t agree with him on every point Looking forward to reading his book On China, as I lived in Beijing for several years and earned my MA in international China studies while living in Taiwan.


  10. Syed Fathi Syed Fathi says:

    As oppose to many mainstream media many regards Kissinger as a war criminal The architect of many US backed coup and war around the world especially during his tenure as national security advisor during Nixon s presidency The most memorable and shameful of all was the US war in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, which minimum estimate put the death toll at at least 4 million people.Having this fact in mind, it is a hypocrite at a maximum level when in the book, Kissinger mark US role in the global As oppose to many mainstream media many regards Kissinger as a war criminal The architect of many US backed coup and war around the world especially during his tenure as national security advisor during Nixon s presidency The most memorable and shameful of all was the US war in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, which minimum estimate put the death toll at at least 4 million people.Having this fact in mind, it is a hypocrite at a maximum level when in the book, Kissinger mark US role in the global order as acting for all mankind , he talked about how US would go into war to spread democracy, freedom and its value, while in reality it supported various coup and suppressive regimes for their national interest But one thing I admire him most, is his effort to justify all wars no matter how shameful it was, even if it was popularly oppose domestically The book also show case Kissinger s strong belief in the American Exceptionalism, phrases likeUS was not simply a country but an engine of God s plan and epitome of world order ,international society was like a frontier settlement without an effective police force ,America would emerge as the decisive guardian of the global balance and international peace ,American idealism and exceptionalism were the driving forces behind the building of a new international orderwas everywhere in the book.Having said all these, it does not mean that the book lack some good quality in term of knowledge and thought His explanation on how Europe overcome their war torn countries and resolving to eventually develop Wesphalian system was helpful and easy to understand His analysis on Japan, China and India will help reader to understand why nations treat their foreign policy differently Lastly, his conclusion on the rising power of social media also will guide readers on the question why we tend to diverge on the definition of truth


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