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Kissinger: US forced to seek regime change in authoritarian states

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Henry Kissinger said conditions could force the US leadership to take action aimed at changing regimes in aggressive authoritarian states, but Washington should avoid aggravations that could lead to it.


  • The former US Secretary of State (1973-1977) and the US National Security Adviser (1969-1675)
  •  in an interview published Monday on the website of the Financial Times
  • considered that "we must understand that there are differences in ideology and interpretation [of facts between authoritarian regimes and democracies]. 


We must use this understanding, assess the importance of the problems that arise, and not make them a major point of confrontation, unless we are willing to make regime change the main objective of our policy. "


Kissinger believed that, given the evolution of technology and the immense destructive power of existing weapons, "[other States] can impose aggression on us [the desire for regime change], but we must avoid situations when we create these conditions through our behaviour".


The former President of American diplomacy expressed concern that "both sides (authoritarian and democratic states)


  •  are accumulating" new types of increasingly destructive and technologically sophisticated weapons
  • the use of which could lead to a previously unimaginable disaster.
  • " Kissinger noted that the international community was avoiding discussing what action would be necessary if such weapons were used, but that "in a whole new era


 the topic that has so far been ignored will inevitably become one of the new diplomatic and military agendas", stressing that this "will be a challenge".


Kissinger also pointed out that the alliance between Russia and China as a whole was not in the West's interest, but expressed doubts that such a partnership could be permanent. He also noted the need for different political approaches to Moscow and Beijing so that they would not be forced to converge.


"The global geopolitical situation will change dramatically after the end of the war in Ukraine. 


Having the same interests in each potential case is not a normal situation for China and Russia. I don't think we can create potential differences, but I think conditions will create them ".



Kissinger expressed the view that "after the war in Ukraine, Russia will at least have to reassess its relationship with Europe and its general approach to NATO" "It is unwise to take a hostile attitude towards both adversaries and to contribute to their convergence, and when we embrace this principle in our relations with Europe and our internal discussions, history, I believe, will provide us with opportunities to apply a multiplicity of approaches."


In Kissinger's view, China is now considering how to avoid the situation in which Russia has found itself under heavy sanctions, and avoid a coherent response from "a large part of the world" in the event of a crisis in relations between Beijing and Western capitals.