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Whatever must happen ultimately should happen immediately.
– Henry Kissinger
The American temptation is to believe that foreign policy is a subdivision of psychiatry.
In crises the most daring course is often safest.
The longer I am out of office, the more infallible I appear to myself.
The Vietnam War required us to emphasize the national interest rather than abstract principles. What President Nixon and I tried to do was unnatural. And that is why we didn’t make it.
Blessed are the people whose leaders can look destiny in the eye without flinching but also without attempting to play God.
University politics are vicious precisely because the stakes are so small.
You can’t make war in the Middle East without Egypt and you can’t make peace without Syria.
No country can act wisely simultaneously in every part of the globe at every moment of time.
Power is the great aphrodisiac.
Ninety percent of the politicians give the other ten percent a bad reputation.
The nice thing about being a celebrity is that, if you bore people, they think it’s their fault.
The superpowers often behave like two heavily armed blind men feeling their way around a room, each believing himself in mortal peril from the other, whom he assumes to have perfect vision.
The absence of alternatives clears the mind marvelously.
We cannot always assure the future of our friends; we have a better chance of assuring our future if we remember who our friends are.
The conventional army loses if it does not win. The guerrilla wins if he does not lose.
While we should never give up our principles, we must also realize that we cannot maintain our principles unless we survive.
Diplomacy: the art of restraining power.
I am being frank about myself in this book. I tell of my first mistake on page 850.
Even a paranoid can have enemies.
There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.
Moderation is a virtue only in those who are thought to have an alternative.