The Best Henry Kissinger quotes

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Henry Kissinger is one of the most controversial political figures in American history. Despite this, his quotes compilation is an interesting look at the rise of a powerful diplomat. Many people know about his work as a secretary of state under Richard Nixon, but his earlier years are full of surprises too. This post takes a look at Kissinger’s life and career, and highlights some of the most important moments along the way. Whether you’re interested in politics or not, you’ll find something to appreciate in Kissinger’s story.

Discover the most inspiring Control, Americans, Peace, Power, Order, World, History, Policy quotes from Henry Kissinger, and much more.


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About Henry Kissinger

birth of the author

May 27, 1923

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Political Party:

education of the author

City College Of New York Harvard University

award of the author

Civilian Awards:
Nobel Peace Prize

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United States

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U.S. Army

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Years Of Service:

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84Th Infantry Division

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Battle Of The Bulge

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Military Awards:
Bronze Star


Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac. โ€” Henry Kissinger

I believe that without Watergate we would have had an extraordinary period of success with a strong Nixon and a still vital Brezhnev in power. โ€” Henry A. Kissinger

In Washington…the appearance of power is therefore almost as important as the reality of it. In fact, the appearance is frequently its essential reality โ€” Henry Kissinger

Diplomacy: the art of restraining power. โ€” Henry A. Kissinger

power is the ultimate aphrodisiac Henry Kissinger quote

In the end, peace can be achieved only by hegemony or by balance of power. โ€” Henry A. Kissinger

The idea of abstract power only exists for academics, not in real life. โ€” Henry A. Kissinger

An expert is someone who articulates the needs of those in power. โ€” Henry A. Kissinger

I think Vladimir Putin will give up power. โ€” Henry A. Kissinger

Power without legitimacy tempts tests of strength; legitimacy without power tepmts empty posturing. โ€” Henry Kissinger

The US must carry out some act somewhere in the world which shows its determination to continue to be a world power. โ€” Henry A. Kissinger


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Intelligence is not all that important in the exercise of power, and is often, in point of fact, useless. โ€” Henry A. Kissinger

We are not just any nation. โ€” Henry A. Kissinger

Whenever a new president comes in, people that are used to the previous president wonder if he has the same capacity. โ€” Henry A. Kissinger


History is the memory of States. โ€” Henry A. Kissinger

history knows no resting places and no plateaus Henry Kissinger quote

The history of things that didn’t happen has never been written. โ€” Henry A. Kissinger

The great tragedies of history occur not when right confronts wrong but when two rights confront each oTher. โ€” Henry Kissinger

You should not think that you can shape history only by your will. This is also why I’m against the concept of intervention when you don’t know its ultimate implications. โ€” Henry A. Kissinger

For the greatest part of humanity and the longest periods of history, empire has been the typical mode of government. โ€” Henry Kissinger

History knows no resting places and no plateaus. โ€” Henry Kissinger

I have learned, as I wrote, that history must be discovered, not declared. It’s an admission that one grows in life. โ€” Henry A. Kissinger

A turbulent history has taught Chinese leaders that not every problem has a solution and that too great an emphasis on total mastery over specific events could upset the harmony of the universe. โ€” Henry Kissinger

For the Soul of France is masterful history, brilliantly researched, and hard to put down. โ€” Henry A. Kissinger


How to Achieve The New World Order โ€” Henry A. Kissinger

United States would become the indispensable defender of the order Europe designed. โ€” Henry Kissinger

united states would become the indispensable defender of the order europe designed Henry Kissinger quote

Let us fashion together a new world order. โ€” Henry A. Kissinger

You become a superpower by being strong but also by being wise and by being farsighted. But no state is strong or wise enough to create a world order alone. โ€” Henry A. Kissinger

Nafta represents the single most creative step towards a New World Order. โ€” Henry A. Kissinger

Order should not have priority over freedom. But the affirmation of freedom should be elevated from a mood to a strategy. โ€” Henry Kissinger

Nafta is a major stepping stone to the New World Order. โ€” Henry A. Kissinger

The greatest need of the contemporary international system is an agreed concept of order. โ€” Henry A. Kissinger

I think that his [Obama’s] task will be to develop an overall strategy for America in this period, when really a New World Order can be created. โ€” Henry A. Kissinger

Order without freedom, even if sustained by momentary exaltation, eventually creates its own counterpoise; yet freedom cannot be secured or sustained without a framework of order to keep the peace. โ€” Henry Kissinger

Our nation is uniquely endowed to play a creative and decisive role in the new order which is taking form around us. โ€” Henry A. Kissinger

Nixon] wants a massive bombing campaign in Cambodia. He doesn’t want to hear anything about it. It’s an order, to be done. Anything that flies on anything that moves. โ€” Henry A. Kissinger


U.s. policy toward the third world should be one of depopulation โ€” Henry A. Kissinger

Poor old Germany. Too big for Europe, too small for the world โ€” Henry Kissinger

World population needs to be decreased by 50% โ€” Henry A. Kissinger

To revolutionaries the significant reality is the world which they are fighting to bring about, not the world they are fighting to overcome. โ€” Henry A. Kissinger

Facts are rarely selfโ€“explanatory; their significance, analysis, and interpretationโ€“at least in the foreign policy worldโ€“depend on context and relevance. โ€” Henry Kissinger

poor old germany too big for europe too small for the world Henry Kissinger quote

In a nuclear war, even if one side were to come out ahead by systems analytical standards, both sides would be so weakened, that it wouldโ€“they would be in the position of Europe after the two World Wars. โ€” Henry A. Kissinger

If conflict is permitted to run unconstrained, the outcome could be even worse than it was in europe, world war i broke out because of a relatively minor crisis … and today the weapons are more powerful. โ€” Henry Kissinger

No country can act wisely simultaneously in every part of the globe at every moment of time. โ€” Henry A. Kissinger

It was a greek tragedy. nixon was fulfilling his own nature. once It started It could not end otherwise. โ€” Henry Kissinger

Redundant Thematics

In Henry Kissinger Statements


I have always expressed respect for those people who make public declarations. โ€” Henry A. Kissinger


At any rate, mutually assured destruction was never our policy. โ€” Henry A. Kissinger

A country that demands moral perfection in its foreign policy will achieve neither perfection nor security. โ€” Henry A. Kissinger

There is obviously a gap between the public’s perception of the role of U.S. foreign policy and the elite’s perception. โ€” Henry Kissinger

Policy is the art of the possible, the science of the relative. โ€” Henry Kissinger

In my life, I have almost always been on the side of active foreign policy. But you need to know with whom you are cooperating. You need reliable partners. โ€” Henry A. Kissinger

policy is the art of the possible the science of the relative Henry Kissinger quote

Military men are just dumb, stupid animals to be used as pawns in foreign policy. โ€” Henry A. Kissinger

Most foreign policies that history has marked highly, in whatever country, have been originated by leaders who were opposed by experts. โ€” Henry A. Kissinger

No foreign policyโ€“no matter how ingeniousโ€“has any chance of success if it is born in the minds of a few and carried in the hearts of none. โ€” Henry Kissinger

The art of good foreign policy is to understand and to take into consideration the values of a society, to realize them at the outer limit of the possible. โ€” Henry A. Kissinger

In my particular case foreign policy happens to be my hobby, my consuming interest. I had spent decades studying it. โ€” Henry A. Kissinger

Realism in foreign policy means careful consideration of all aspects pertinent to the issue, before taking a decision. This is the only way you can move from where you are to someplace else. โ€” Henry A. Kissinger


If you control the oil you control the country; if you control food, you control the population. โ€” Henry A. Kissinger

Control oil and you control nations; control food and you control the people. โ€” Henry A. Kissinger

If you control the food, you control a nation. If you control the energy, you control a region. If you control the money, you control the world. โ€” Henry A. Kissinger

I believe it is a mistake to isolate arms control from other areas of policy. โ€” Henry A. Kissinger

because complexity inhibits flexibility early choices are especially crucial Henry Kissinger quote

Who controls the food supply controls the people; who controls the energy can control whole continents; who controls money can control the world. โ€” Henry A. Kissinger

Would food be considered an instrument of national power? … Is the U.S. prepared to accept food rationing to help people who can’t/won’t control their population growth? โ€” Henry A. Kissinger

Because complexity inhibits flexibility, early choices are especially crucial. โ€” Henry Kissinger


Iraq has to be made an international, and not just a national American problem. โ€” Henry A. Kissinger

Americans have a tendency to believe that when there’s a problem there must be a solution. โ€” Henry Kissinger

One has to remember that every progress that has been made towards peace in the Middle East has come under American leadership. โ€” Henry A. Kissinger

The American temptation is to believe that foreign policy is a subdivision of psychiatry. โ€” Henry A. Kissinger

For other nations, utopia is a blessed past never to be recovered; for Americans, it is just beyond the horizon. โ€” Henry Kissinger

Withdrawal of US troops will become like salted peanuts to the American public: The more US troops come home, the more will be demanded. โ€” Henry A. Kissinger

American politics are normally a result of pragmatic and not philosophical reasoning. No one in Washington has said we now prefer multilateralism. โ€” Henry A. Kissinger

The American formal position has been that we oppose violence by governments against their people. That principle should not be abandoned. โ€” Henry A. Kissinger

Every American president, regardless of party, has said that America has an intense interest in a peaceful resolution. And I think it should be left at that. โ€” Henry A. Kissinger

The American foreign policy trauma of the sixties and seventies was caused by applying valid principles to unsuitable conditions. โ€” Henry A. Kissinger

Well, on the American side, every new administration has to cut its teeth in a crisis, because before a crisis, you don’t really know what your various subordinates are thinking under stress. โ€” Henry A. Kissinger


You can’t make war in the Middle East without Egypt and you can’t make peace without Syria. โ€” Henry A. Kissinger

The position is that stability and peace in Asia depend on a cooperative relationship between China and the United States. โ€” Henry A. Kissinger

Peace depends ultimately not on political arrangements but on the conscience of mankind. โ€” Henry A. Kissinger

Henceforth the adequacy of any military establishment will be tested by its ability to preserve the peace. โ€” Henry A. Kissinger

If peace is equated simply with the absence of war, it can become abject pacIfism that turns the world over to the most ruthless. โ€” Henry Kissinger


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