Diplomacy Quotes

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Diplomacy Diplomacy by Henry Kissinger
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Diplomacy Quotes Showing 1-30 of 32
“Behind the slogans lay an intellectual vacuum.”
Henry Kissinger, Diplomacy
“Intellectuals analyze the operations of international systems; statesmen build them.”
Henry Kissinger, Diplomacy
“George Bernard Shaw: “There are two tragedies in life. One is to lose your heart’s desire. The other is to gain it.”
Henry Kissinger, Diplomacy
“Because complexity inhibits flexibility, early choices are especially crucial.”
Henry Kissinger, Diplomacy
“The war is just when the intention that causes it to be undertaken is just. The will is therefore the principle element that must be considered, not the means... He who intends to kill the guilty sometimes faultlessly shed the blood of the innocents...'

In short, the end justifies the means.”
Henry Kissinger, Diplomacy
“Empires have no interest in operating within an international system; they aspire to be the international system.”
Henry Kissinger, Diplomacy
“both the American and the European approaches to foreign policy were the products of their own unique circumstances. Americans inhabited a nearly empty continent shielded from predatory powers by two vast oceans and with weak countries as neighbors. Since America confronted no power in need of being balanced, it could hardly have occupied itself with the challenges of equilibrium even if its leaders had been seized by the bizarre notion of replicating European conditions amidst a people who had turned their backs on Europe.”
Henry Kissinger, Diplomacy
“For the greatest part of humanity and the longest periods of history, empire has been the typical mode of government.”
Henry Kissinger, Diplomacy
“in effect, none of the most important countries which must build a new world order have had any experience with the multistate system that is emerging. Never before has a new world order had to be assembled from so many different perceptions, or on so global a scale.”
Henry Kissinger, Diplomacy
“…Policy is the art of the possible, the science of the relative.”
Henry Kissinger, Diplomacy
“the American Senate remained focused on domestic priorities and thwarted all expansionist projects. It kept the army small (25,000 men) and the navy weak. Until 1890, the American army ranked fourteenth in the world, after Bulgaria’s, and the American navy was smaller than Italy’s even though America’s industrial strength was thirteen times that of Italy. America did not participate in international conferences and was treated as a second-rank power. In 1880, when Turkey reduced its diplomatic establishment, it eliminated its embassies in Sweden, Belgium, the Netherlands, and the United States. At the same time, a German diplomat in Madrid offered to take a cut in salary rather than be posted to Washington.18”
Henry Kissinger, Diplomacy
“history teaches by analogy, shedding light on the likely consequences of comparable situations.”
Henry Kissinger, Diplomacy
“Realpolitik for Bismarck depended on flexibility and on the ability to exploit every available option without the constraint of ideology.”
Henry Kissinger, Diplomacy
“The bargaining position of the victor always diminishes with time. Whatever is not exacted during the shock of defeat becomes increasingly difficult to attain later.”
Henry Kissinger, Diplomacy
“the philosopher of history Emmerich de Vattel could write in 1758, the second year of the Seven Years’ War, that: The continual negotiations that take place, make modern Europe a sort of republic, whose members—each independent, but all bound together by a common interest—unite for the maintenance of order and the preservation of liberty. This is what has given rise to the well-known principle of the balance of power, by which is meant an arrangement of affairs so that no state shall be in a position to have absolute mastery and dominate over the others.15”
Henry Kissinger, Diplomacy
“When statesmen want to gain time, they offer to talk.”
Henry Kissinger, Diplomacy
“The basic premise of collective security was that all nations would view every threat to security in the same way and be prepared to run the same risks in resisting it. Not only had nothing like it ever actually occurred, nothing like it was destined to occur in the entire history of both the League of Nations and the United Nations. Only when a threat is truly overwhelming and genuinely affects all, or most, societies is such a consensus possible—as it was during the two world wars and, on a regional basis, in the Cold War. But in the vast majority of cases—and in nearly all of the difficult ones—the nations of the world tend to disagree either about the nature of the threat or about the type of sacrifice they are prepared to make to meet it.”
Henry Kissinger, Diplomacy
“One of Ronald Reagan’s fantasies as president was that he would take Mikhail Gorbachev on a tour of the United States so the Soviet leader could see how ordinary Americans lived. Reagan often talked about it. He imagined that he and Gorbachev would fly by helicopter over a working-class community, viewing a factory and its parking lot filled with cars and then circling over the pleasant neighborhood where the factory workers lived in homes “with lawns and backyards, perhaps with a second car or a boat in the driveway, not the concrete rabbit warrens I’d seen in Moscow.” The helicopter would descend, and Reagan would invite Gorbachev to knock on doors and ask the residents “what they think of our system.” The workers would tell him how wonderful it was to live in America.”
Henry Kissinger, Diplomacy
“Remember that the sanctity of life in the hill villages of Afghanistan is as inviolable in the eye of Almighty God as can be your own. Remember that He who has united you as human beings in the same flesh and blood has bound you by the law of mutual love… not limited by the boundaries of Christian civilization….34”
Henry Kissinger, Diplomacy
“For centuries, the Middle Kingdom had assured its security by playing off distant barbarians against immediate neighbors. Deeply worried about Soviet expansionism, Mao adopted the same strategy in his opening to the United States.”
Henry Kissinger, Diplomacy
“explanation for such a one-sided transaction: “This accession of territory affirms forever the power of the United States, and I have just given England a maritime rival that sooner or later will lay low her pride.”
Henry Kissinger, Diplomacy
“Constantly changing shape as its rulers annexed contiguous territories, Russia was an empire out of scale in comparison with any of the European countries. Moreover, with every new conquest, the character of the state changed as it incorporated another brand-new, restive, non-Russian ethnic group. This was one of the reasons Russia felt obliged to maintain huge armies whose size was unrelated to any plausible threat to its external security.”
Henry Kissinger, Diplomacy
“may not lead to reduction in U.S. casualties until its final stages, as our casualty rate may be unrelated to the total number of American troops in South Vietnam. To kill about 150 U.S. soldiers a week, the enemy needs to attack only a small portion of our forces….”
Henry Kissinger, Diplomacy
“Силата се оказва твърде трудна за измерване и волята за нейното прилагане – твърде различна, за да й бъде позволено да служи като надеждно ръководство за международен ред. Равновесието действа най-добре, когато бъде укрепено със съглашение за общи ценности. Балансът на силите намалява способността да се събори международният ред; съгласие по отношение на споделените ценности подтиска желанието да се събори международният ред. Мощ без законност изкушава към премерване на силите; законност без мощ изкушава към празно перчене.”
Henry Kissinger, Diplomacy
tags: power
“Torn between obsessive insecurity and proselytizing zeal, between the requirements of Europe and the temptations of Asia, the Russian Empire always had a role in the European equilibrium but was never emotionally a part of it.”
Henry Kissinger, Diplomacy
“it is almost always a mistake for heads of state to undertake the details of a negotiation. They are then obliged to master specifics normally handled by their foreign offices and are deflected onto subjects more appropriate to their subordinates, while being kept from issues only heads of state can resolve. Since no one without a well-developed ego reaches the highest office, compromise is difficult and deadlocks are dangerous. With the domestic positions of the interlocutors so often dependent on at least the semblance of success, negotiations more often concentrate on obscuring differences than they do on dealing with the essence of a problem.”
Henry Kissinger, Diplomacy
“Harold Macmillan, then Chancellor of the Exchequer, told Ambassador Robert Murphy, a Dulles emissary, that, if Great Britain did not confront Nasser now, “Britain would become another Netherlands.”
Henry Kissinger, Diplomacy
“Spanish territory in Florida and Texas—the”
Henry Kissinger, Diplomacy
“For nearly twenty years, Bismarck preserved the peace and eased international tension with his moderation and flexibility. But he paid the price of misunderstood greatness, for his successors and would-be imitators could draw no better lesson from his example than multiplying arms and waging a war which would cause the suicide of European civilization.”
Henry Kissinger, Diplomacy
“Upon learning of Cardinal Richelieu’s death, Pope Urban VIII is alleged to have said, “If there is a God, the Cardinal de Richelieu will have much to answer for. If not… well, he had a successful life.”
Henry Kissinger, Diplomacy

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