Donald Trump to meet with former secretary of state Henry Kissinger for foreign policy talks

Mr Kissinger, secretary of state turned private consultant, was described as a 'key architect in jump-starting wars'

 

The 92-year-old embodies the 'orthodoxy' of US foreign policy, according to experts
The 92-year-old embodies the 'orthodoxy' of US foreign policy, according to experts

Donald Trump is set to discuss foreign policy with former secretary of state Henry Kissinger, the man who stepped down from the 9/11 committee to avoid a "conflict of interest".

Much like the so-called peace talks with house speaker Paul Ryan this month in Washington, Mr Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, is now setting out to ensure his proposals on how the US deals with the rest of the world are more palatable with his colleagues.

The meeting with Mr Kissinger, 92, known as one of the most controversial and interventionist members of the White House in recent history, could be seen as yet another U-turn from Mr Trump.

The businessman-turned-Republican has already carried out several swift turnarounds on tax, minimum wage and his ban on Muslims in the last week alone.

He has maintained during the election campaign, however, that the Iraq war was a “big, fat mistake”. He also suggested that Japan and South Korea should obtain their own nuclear bombs to deal with North Korea without US aid.

Sam Husseini, director of communications at the Institute for Public Accuracy, told The Independent that the meeting on Wednesday between the two men is in part due to alleviate the “squeamishness” of other Republicans regarding Mr Trump’s breaking with convention on foreign policy.

“[Kissinger] embodies US foreign policy orthodoxy,” he said.

“Trump is the most prominent person on the national stage who has said some inconvenient truths, like that Libya was a disaster,” he added.

Mr Kissinger, an adviser to fomer presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford, spent decades as a key architect within government, and outside it as a private consultant.

According to Greg Grandin, New York University professor and the author of “Kissinger's Shadow: The Long Reach of America's Most Controversial Statesman”, Mr Kissinger implemented policies which led to genocides, carpet-bombing and jump-starting wars in many countries including Chile, Cambodia, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Angola and Mozambique.

“From Nixon to Trump, Kissinger is a good bellwether and index for the party,” he said. “He thought Reagan was hollow and an actor and he moved to accommodate himself with him. He once called [former defence secretary] Donald Rumsfeld the most despicable man in government yet he accommodated himself there too."

Mr Kissinger is well engrained in the establishment, despite not being a politician for decades.

During a recent debate, Democrat Hillary Clinton invoked Mr Kissinger's name in a positive way, according to Mr Husseini.

“I happen to believe that Henry Kissinger was one of the most destructive secretaries of state in the modern history of this country”, said Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders at the same debate.

The Clinton and Kissinger families regularly holiday together in a beachfront villa in the Dominican Republic.

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