The former US secretary of state said the country suffers from ?domestic division and international disorder?
Former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger chided the nation's political establishment for its failure to demonstrate "domestic cohesion," warning an audience at a Sunday event celebrating former president Ronald Reagan that the country could not afford to isolate itself.
Because the US is "suffering" from "domestic division and international disorder about arguments about who we are and what we stand for," it "finds it difficult to muster the domestic cohesion necessary to face the challenges ahead of us," the former national security adviser told onlookers at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.
These, Kissinger said, included a "challenge to world order" from China, Russia's military operation in Ukraine, and the apparently imminent development of "the world's most devastating weapons" by Iran - to say nothing of artificial intelligence (AI), which the former diplomat warned was "transforming human consciousness itself."
"Each of these pressing developments requires a combination of strength and conciliation," he said, reminding the assembled Reagan fans that the former president "knew that America needed to be powerful in substance and in mind to protect world order - by force, if necessary."
The deceased former president, who would have been 112 years old on Sunday, never wavered in his beliefs that "America is most secure and prosperous when it is the leader in shaping a stable world" and that "a stable world could not be based on American isolationism," Kissinger claimed.
While the 99-year-old ex-diplomat described Reagan as a "peacemaker," the conservative icon's presidency saw the US invade Grenada, send thousands of troops to the Middle East, and attempt to overthrow the government of Nicaragua by funding, training and arming Contra militias through the CIA.
During Reagan's presidency, Kissinger chaired the National Bipartisan Commission on Central America, which accused the Soviet Union of exploiting political unrest in the region while glossing over the US' - and specifically Kissinger's own - support for military dictatorships like Augusto Pinochet's Chile and the right-wing death squads of El Salvador in the name of fighting communism.
Last month at the World Economic Forum, he publicly embraced the idea of Ukrainian membership in NATO, reversing course on the opposition he had voiced during the previous conference, when he called for an end to the conflict as soon as possible lest Russia be driven into the arms of China.