Before that, at the beginning of this war, Kissinger had a very flexible and politically realistic position by calling for a ceasefire and acknowledging to Russia the military achievements it has made since the war was launched on February 24, 2022. The man seems to have been ecstatic by the content of Beijing's initiative, which he considered to be inspired by his fatwa and vision. While Kissinger's views in recent years have been outside the context and conditions of reality, he has preached the school of political realism, for which he is famous.
However, that realism seemed to fluctuate and fluctuate from week to week. In the early months of the war, he seemed to understand the vision of Russia and its leader Vladimir Putin, in January this world he returned to calling for Ukraine to be included in NATO in contrast to his previous interpretations. He made the position during a video participation at the World Economic Forum.
Kissinger skillfully justified this jump from one position to another. He said he was opposed to Ukraine's membership in NATO "lest it cause the process we are now experiencing. Now that this process has reached this level, the idea of a neutral Ukraine under these conditions is no longer feasible." But in this justification offered by Kissinger a simplification in the science of international relations is no secret to a "shrewd" like him.
Before appearing in Davos, in December 2022 he wrote an article published in the conservative British magazine The Spectator in which he warned that the conflict in Ukraine had similarities to 1914 when major powers inadvertently descended into world war.
He called for a ceasefire under which Russia would withdraw to pre-invasion lines but not further, remaining in eastern Ukraine as well as Crimea, which Moscow annexed in 2014, with the territory subject to a subsequent negotiating process.
It is true that the views of men remain irrelevant, as long as he is outside any position or responsibility, but the fame he enjoyed made what is merely an opinion a reference in the sciences of international relations and geostrategic crises. It is true that his fatwas on the war at the age of one hundred differ in accuracy and competence from what they were decades ago, but the model of the Ukraine crisis is the same model that he adopted in his approach to the crises and historical joints in which he engaged and managed the production of their consequences. So where did he lose his compass?
Kissinger's legendary power in describing it as cunning and labeling it as a rare genius lies in the fact that he exercised his talents at the height and surplus of power that the United States enjoyed. The man worked in the Middle East with his country's monopoly on the final word in the region's conflict. The late Egyptian President Anwar Sadat did not need to meet with Kissinger, Washington's foreign minister and mediator to end the 1973 war, to conclude that, according to his famous statement, the United States owns 99 percent of the Middle East solution cards. According to America's pity, Kissinger did not present himself to the region as a Jew (as current Secretary of State Antony Blinken did) despite his complete pro-Israel bias.
This distinction made it easier for Kissinger to sell his famous realism, or what he claimed, to pass his approaches to any solution. Fully convinced in Cairo as well as in Damascus of the power of the United States and its ability to act, the two capitals opened their doors to the "shrewd" diplomat and almost painted him as a close friend of the two presidents, Anwar Sadat in Egypt and Hafez al-Assad in Syria. The first wanted war to "move, not liberate" and the second wanted an end to a war that would not lead to the end of the conflict.
In both cases, Kissinger easily deduced that Egypt and Syria yearn for advanced relations with the United States. The war against Israel and Washington's strong support for it are not an ideological obstacle to normalizing Cairo and Damascus' relations with Washington. Kissinger's approaches under the Republicans (Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford from 1973 to 1977) ended with what they ended with Egypt under the Jimmy Carter Democrat at Camp David, and with Syria in later eras of cooperation with Damascus to liberate Kuwait in 1991 and manage the conflict before that with the Palestine Liberation Organization in Lebanon.
Don't question Kissinger's talents and competencies in playing interesting and controversial roles on dramatic occasions from Vietnam and Cambodia to the Middle East. However, he was only a player on the balance of power. All players have taken down their trees, ambitions and goals.
When he met President Sadat, the latter had realized the maximum that Egypt could achieve in a war that turned into a war against America, as he later stated (commenting on the military airlift that Washington had erected in support of Israel). By the time Assad met, the Damascus strongman had exhausted what his army and regime could achieve in the Golan. It was easy for Kissinger to conclude that what the two men intended was one and the same: "stopping the war and contradictory political outcomes." Peace for Egypt. and freezing the conflict for Syria.
Sadat and Assad's misgivings inspired what has come to be known in the Kissinger school as a step-by-step approach. The American diplomat saw no need to go to final solutions. Neither the military consequences of the war dictate this, nor do the political ambitions of Cairo and Damascus yearn for it. Not to mention that Israel, which enjoys unconditional political and military support from the United States, does not have to go for major solutions. Kissinger sold the parties step by step and by the time he left office, he had accomplished only what was possible. In his understanding in Cairo and Damascus, he was behind a doctrine that kept Washington and the PLO out for 20 years.
Kissinger entered diplomacy through the gates of an intellectual academy that produced research and books on history and international relations whose importance is recognized. After his diplomatic phase, his books became less important and more commercial. Clearly, Kissinger's fatwas on Ukraine were not based on the terms of his Middle East fatwas. Washington does not have the surplus power it had in the Middle East in the seventies. Kissinger's treatments do not meet what Moscow and Kiev or even Beijing, London and Paris are doing. There is no room for step in Kissinger's jurisprudence in Europe in a highly transforming world overlooking a new international order. Clearly, no one listens to a man who does not hear them, and this is Kissinger's dilemma in Ukraine. He listened carefully to the players in the Middle East and succeeded in his Chinese adventure only because he listened well to Mao Zedong in Beijing before listening to Richard Nixon in Washington.