Kissinger: It's Time For Negotiated Peace In Ukraine To Avoid World War
Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger has again called for urgently finding a path of negotiated settlement to the war in Ukraine, warning that the entire world is in danger as nuclear-armed superpowers inch closer toward disastrous direct confrontation.
The celebrated diplomat penned an essay entitled "How to Avoid Another World War" for the new issue of The Spectator wherein he spelled out that the ambition of hawks in the West to break apart Russia is likely to unleash nuclear chaos. "The time is approaching to build on the strategic changes which have already been accomplished and to integrate them into a new structure towards achieving peace through negotiation," Kissinger wrote.
"A peace process should link Ukraine to NATO, however expressed. The alternative of neutrality is no longer meaningful," he emphasized. He warned that continued attempts to render Russia "impotent" could result in an uncontrollable and unpredictable spiral. He laid out that along with the sought after "dissolution" of Russia would come a massive power vacuum out of which new threats to the whole world would emerge as bigger powers rush in.
"The dissolution of Russia or destroying its ability for strategic policy could turn its territory encompassing 11 time zones into a contested vacuum," Kissinger continued.
"Its competing societies might decide to settle their disputes by violence. Other countries might seek to expand their claims by force. All these dangers would be compounded by the presence of thousands of nuclear weapons which make Russia one of the world’s two largest nuclear powers."
The 99-year old statesman who has long been seen as the quintessential national security state and military-industrial complex insider had last May angered other hawkish pundits and "insiders", ironically enough, for daring to propose that Ukraine be willing to recognize Crimea as under Russia, and in return Russian forces would fall back to their lines before the Feb. 24 invasion. Previously he's been on record as saying "It was not a wise American policy to attempt to include Ukraine into NATO."
Kissinger's newest proposal is already receiving similarly fierce pushback - this despite his clearly expressing support for militarizing Ukraine. The most controversial aspect to the new Kissinger op-ed is sure to be found in the following lines wherein he suggests "internationally supervised referendums" for self-determination in eastern territories occupied by Russia and which are even now being intensely fought over. Below are Kissinger's words:
"This process has mooted the original issues regarding Ukraine’s membership in Nato. Ukraine has acquired one of the largest and most effective land armies in Europe, equipped by America and its allies. A peace process should link Ukraine to Nato, however expressed. The alternative of neutrality is no longer meaningful, especially after Finland and Sweden joined Nato. This is why, last May, I recommended establishing a ceasefire line along the borders existing where the war started on 24 February. Russia would disgorge its conquests thence, but not the territory it occupied nearly a decade ago, including Crimea. That territory could be the subject of a negotiation after a ceasefire."
"If the pre-war dividing line between Ukraine and Russia cannot be achieved by combat or by negotiation, recourse to the principle of self-determination could be explored. Internationally supervised referendums concerning self-determination could be applied to particularly divisive territories which have changed hands repeatedly over the centuries."
Kissinger then emphasizes that "The goal of a peace process would be twofold: to confirm the freedom of Ukraine and to define a new international structure, especially for Central and Eastern Europe. Eventually Russia should find a place in such an order."
Critics, and Ukraine itself, are sure to reject the Kissinger plan, given he floated the possibility of referendums for those contested territories "which have changed hands repeatedly over the centuries" [i.e.: particularly the Donbas]. Indeed this has already begun, with some outright dismissing his peace plan as "delusional"...
My takedown of Kissinger's delusionally nostalgic "peace plan" for Ukraine. https://t.co/FoFHX7z0cQ— Fred Kaplan (@fmkaplan) December 16, 2022
Without doubt there will also be forthcoming howls of Kissinger having turned 'pro-Kremlin' or even accusations the elderly diplomat has been "compromised" by Putin.
This is especially as he seemed to directly appeal to the hawks in Washington and NATO in writing, "The preferred outcome for some is a Russia rendered impotent by the war. I disagree. For all its propensity to violence, Russia has made decisive contributions to the global equilibrium and to the balance of power for over half a millennium. Its historical role should not be degraded."
And followed with a warning of nuclear disaster on the horizon: "Russia’s military setbacks have not eliminated its global nuclear reach, enabling it to threaten escalation in Ukraine."