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US Navy to arm destroyers with hypersonic weapons

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Move aims to counter and deter rising Chinese and Russian hypersonic missile threats amid growing tensions

Hypersonic missiles will be installed on three US destroyer-class ships this month as Washington moves to increase its capabilities at sea and counter possible Chinese and Russian threats.

Three of the US Navy’s troubled Zumwalt-class destroyers will be fitted with the hypersonic missiles, replacing the ships’ two massive 155mm Advanced Gun Systems (AGS).

Upon finishing these changes in 2025, the Zumwalt-class would be the first US naval platform to be armed with hypersonic weapons.

The conversion aims to make the futuristic stealth vessels into blue-water strike platforms, in contrast with their original purpose of operating in the littorals and supporting forces ashore with guided rounds from their dual 155mm guns. 

The Zumwalt class was originally built around two 155mm AGS weapons. However, the high cost of the AGS’ guided rounds at US$1 million each – approaching that of a Tomahawk cruise missile – stopped the US Navy from mass procurement.

Also, the proliferation of littoral defenses such as anti-ship missile batteries, naval mines and coastal submarines may have made the Zumwalt destroyers too vulnerable for shore bombardment roles. 

Replacing the twin AGS weapons, the Zumwalt class would be fitted with at least two sets of hypersonic missile tubes inserted on the port and starboard sides of the ship. Replacing the Zumwalt’s AGS mounts with hypersonic missile tubes gives the class strategic-level capabilities, while preserving its 80 existing vertical launchers, which are vital for air defense and anti-ship missiles. 

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These missile tubes would be based on the Multiple All-up-round Canisters (MAC) system installed on four Ohio class nuclear guided-cruise missile submarines. Aboard the Zumwalt class, these MACs could be loaded with three Common Hypersonic Glide Body (C-HGB) missiles per tube. 

However, the US Navy has not given the exact numbers of how many tubes or hypersonic missiles the Zumwalt class will carry.

Advanced technologies

The US Navy may have planned to repurpose the Zumwalt class from being a failed shore bombardment platform into a hypersonic weapons launcher to continue utilizing the advanced technologies featured in the class. These technologies include its stealth characteristics, radars, electric propulsion systems and processing capabilities.

However, this may also be a move to save what was already an unfeasible design in the first place. 

The Zumwalt’s tumblehome stealth hull could potentially become unstable in high seas and can be detected with low-frequency radar. Also, no close-in weapons systems (CIWS) were installed on the class to maximize its stealth features, making it vulnerable to air and anti-ship missile attacks. 

In addition, the high cost of $4.24 billion per unit for only three ships means there might not be enough Zumwalt ships to fulfill US Navy mission requirements.

Such an approach to weapons design may reflect the US tendency to spend exorbitant amounts on over-engineered and overly-complex designs which promise to do so much yet cannot be mass-produced, due to high costs.

These designs may also be aimed at accomplishing too much that they end up not being specialized for any role. 

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That said, it may be more practical for the US Navy to install hypersonic weapons on cheaper, more numerous assets.

These could include the upcoming Constellation-class frigates, which are designed to take up the role of inexpensive general-purpose warships that can be bought in large numbers, in order to complement the capabilities of larger and more capable ships such as the Arleigh Burke and Zumwalt class. 

While hypersonic weapons are still in their infancy and therefore have high costs at present, it can be reasonably expected that costs will sink once the technology matures and production rates pick up, allowing more warships to be armed with them. 

Also, it could be more feasible to start with a new ship class designed from the outset to be armed with hypersonic missiles. While the Zumwalt class is planned to be equipped with hypersonic weapons, their high unit cost, unproven technology and small number may restrict their roles into being technology demonstrators for more feasible and sustainable ship designs. 

That said, the US Navy’s planned Next-Generation DDG (X) destroyers are expected to be equipped with hypersonic and directed energy weapons, and feature key technologies featured on the Zumwalt class, such as the electric propulsion and electricity generation systems. 

Construction of the new class is planned to start in 2028 and may be substantially cheaper per unit than the Zumwalt class, with a cost estimate of $1 billion per hull.

Via AsiaTimes

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10 Best US Presidents of All Time: A Comprehensive Ranking

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The United States has had 46 presidents, each with their own unique leadership style, accomplishments, and controversies. While some presidents are remembered for their exceptional leadership and achievements, others are infamous for their failures and shortcomings. The list of the top 10 best US presidents of all time is a topic of much debate among historians, political scientists, and the general public.

Criteria for evaluating the effectiveness of a president’s leadership varies greatly. Many experts consider factors such as their vision, ability to set an agenda, public communication skills, legislative success, economic management, and foreign policy. Others focus on the president’s character, integrity, and moral leadership. The criteria used to evaluate the presidents can be subjective and vary from one expert to another.

Despite the varying criteria, some presidents are consistently ranked among the top 10 best US presidents of all time. These presidents are recognized for their significant contributions to the country, their leadership during difficult times, and their lasting impact on American society. In this article, we will explore the top 10 best US presidents of all time and the reasons behind their enduring legacies.

Key Takeaways

  • The criteria for evaluating the effectiveness of a president’s leadership varies greatly.
  • The top 10 best US presidents of all time are recognized for their significant contributions to the country, their leadership during difficult times, and their lasting impact on American society.
  • The list of the top 10 best US presidents is a topic of much debate among historians, political scientists, and the general public.

Criteria for Evaluation

When evaluating the best US Presidents of all time, historians and experts use a variety of criteria to assess their leadership and legacy. Here are the key factors that are commonly considered:

Leadership Qualities

The ability to inspire and lead the nation is a critical factor in evaluating a President’s greatness. This includes factors such as communication skills, charisma, vision, and the ability to make tough decisions. A President who can rally the nation during times of crisis and inspire confidence in their leadership is highly valued.

Domestic Policies

A President’s domestic policies are also a key factor in their legacy. This includes their ability to pass legislation that benefits the country and improves the lives of its citizens. Presidents who prioritize issues such as civil rights, healthcare, education, and economic equality are often viewed favourably.

Foreign Policies

A President’s foreign policies are also an important consideration. This includes their ability to maintain strong relationships with allies, negotiate treaties, and promote peace and stability around the world. Presidents who successfully navigate international conflicts and promote American values on the global stage are often highly regarded.

Economic Management

The state of the economy is a crucial factor in evaluating a President’s legacy. A President who can create jobs, reduce unemployment, and promote economic growth is highly valued. This includes factors such as tax policies, government spending, and trade agreements.

Crisis Management

Finally, a President’s ability to handle crises is a critical factor in their legacy. This includes their response to natural disasters, terrorist attacks, and other unexpected events. Presidents who can maintain calm and provide effective leadership during times of crisis are often viewed as great leaders.

Overall, evaluating a President’s legacy is a complex process that involves a variety of factors. By considering their leadership qualities, domestic policies, foreign policies, economic management, and crisis management skills, historians and experts can gain a better understanding of their impact on the nation and the world.

Top 10 Presidents Overview

The United States has had 46 Presidents since its inception, and each of them has left a lasting impact on the country. However, some Presidents have stood out due to their exceptional leadership, decisive action, and legacy. In this article, we will look at the top 10 Presidents of all time, as rated by experts and historians.

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The following table summarizes the top 10 Presidents, along with their political party, years in office, and key achievements:

RankPresidentPolitical PartyYears in OfficeKey Achievements
1Abraham LincolnRepublican1861-1865Emancipation Proclamation, Civil War victory, preserved the Union
2George WashingtonNone (Federalist)1789-1797Revolutionary War hero, established the presidency, set precedents
3Franklin D. RooseveltDemocratic1933-1945New Deal, World War II leadership, Social Security, United Nations
4Theodore RooseveltRepublican1901-1909Trust-busting, conservation, Panama Canal, Pure Food and Drug Act
5Thomas JeffersonDemocratic-Republican1801-1809Louisiana Purchase, Lewis and Clark Expedition, Declaration of Independence
6Harry S. TrumanDemocratic1945-1953Atomic bomb, Marshall Plan, NATO, desegregation of the military
7Woodrow WilsonDemocratic1913-1921League of Nations, Federal Reserve, women’s suffrage, World War I leadership
8James K. PolkDemocratic1845-1849Mexican-American War, Oregon Treaty, California Gold Rush
9Dwight D. EisenhowerRepublican1953-1961Interstate Highway System, desegregation of Little Rock schools, Cold War leadership
10Ronald ReaganRepublican1981-1989Reaganomics, end of Cold War, conservative resurgence

Each of these Presidents has made significant contributions to the country, and their legacies continue to shape the United States today. From Lincoln’s fight to preserve the Union and abolish slavery, to Reagan’s conservative resurgence and end of the Cold War, each President has left a unique mark on American history.

Presidential Impact

When it comes to evaluating the best US Presidents of all time, one of the most important factors to consider is their impact on the country. This can be measured in a variety of ways, including social progress, technological advancements, and constitutional significance.

Social Progress

Several US Presidents have had a significant impact on social progress in the country. For example, Abraham Lincoln is widely regarded as one of the greatest Presidents in American history due to his role in ending slavery and preserving the Union during the Civil War. Franklin D. Roosevelt is another President who had a significant impact on social progress, particularly through his New Deal policies that helped to lift the country out of the Great Depression.

Technological Advancements

Many US Presidents have also had a significant impact on technological advancements in the country. For example, Thomas Jefferson is known for his contributions to science and technology, including his support for the Lewis and Clark expedition and his creation of the United States Military Academy at West Point. More recently, Barack Obama is known for his support of renewable energy and efforts to combat climate change.

Constitutional Significance

Finally, many US Presidents have had a significant impact on the Constitution and the legal framework of the country. For example, George Washington is known for his role in creating the office of the President and establishing many of the traditions that are still in place today. Similarly, Abraham Lincoln is known for his role in preserving the Union and strengthening the power of the federal government.

Controversies and Challenges

Being the President of the United States comes with its fair share of controversies and challenges. The best US Presidents of all time have had to navigate through difficult situations and make tough decisions that have often been met with criticism and opposition.

For instance, Abraham Lincoln, who is considered one of the best US Presidents of all time, faced strong opposition from Southern states that were against his anti-slavery policies. This eventually led to the Civil War, which claimed the lives of over 600,000 Americans. Despite the challenges, Lincoln remained steadfast in his beliefs and successfully led the Union to victory.

Another President who faced significant challenges was Franklin D. Roosevelt. During his time in office, the country was facing one of its worst economic crises – the Great Depression. Roosevelt implemented a series of policies, known as the New Deal, to help the country recover. However, his policies were met with opposition from some who believed that they were too interventionist and threatened individual freedoms.

John F. Kennedy is also another President who faced controversies during his time in office. His administration was marked by the Cuban Missile Crisis, which brought the world to the brink of nuclear war. Kennedy’s handling of the crisis was met with both praise and criticism, with some believing that he acted too aggressively, while others believed that he acted with restraint and prevented a global catastrophe.

Despite these controversies and challenges, the best US Presidents of all time have remained committed to their vision and have worked tirelessly to serve their country and its people. Their legacies continue to inspire and guide future generations of leaders.

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Legacy and Influence

The legacy and influence of a president can be measured by the policies they implemented, the crises they faced, and their impact on the country and the world. The following US presidents have left a lasting legacy and have had a significant influence on American history:

1. George Washington

As the first president of the United States, George Washington set the precedent for future presidents to follow. His leadership during the American Revolution and his role in drafting the US Constitution solidified his place in history. Washington’s Farewell Address warned against political factions and foreign alliances, which continue to influence American foreign policy to this day.

2. Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln’s leadership during the Civil War and his Emancipation Proclamation, which abolished slavery, cemented his place as one of the greatest US presidents. His Gettysburg Address, which emphasized the importance of democracy and equality, is still quoted today.

3. Franklin D. Roosevelt

Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal policies helped the country recover from the Great Depression and his leadership during World War II helped the Allies defeat Nazi Germany. His Social Security Act and other New Deal programs continue to benefit Americans to this day.

4. Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson’s authorship of the Declaration of Independence and his advocacy for individual liberty and religious freedom are still celebrated today. He also made the Louisiana Purchase, which doubled the size of the United States.

5. Theodore Roosevelt

Theodore Roosevelt’s conservation efforts and his role in establishing national parks and forests helped preserve America’s natural resources. He also strengthened the role of the presidency and the federal government, which has had a lasting impact on American politics.

6. Harry S. Truman

Harry S. Truman’s decision to drop atomic bombs on Japan helped end World War II and his Marshall Plan helped rebuild Europe after the war. He also desegregated the military and pushed for civil rights legislation.

7. John F. Kennedy

John F. Kennedy’s leadership during the Cuban Missile Crisis and his commitment to the space program helped establish America as a global superpower. He also advocated for civil rights and his assassination in 1963 shocked the nation.

8. Ronald Reagan

Ronald Reagan’s conservative policies and his role in ending the Cold War helped shape American politics in the 20th century. His economic policies, known as “Reaganomics,” emphasized free-market capitalism and deregulation.

9. Barack Obama

Barack Obama’s election as the first African-American president and his policies, such as the Affordable Care Act and the Paris Climate Agreement, have had a significant impact on American history. His presidency also marked a shift towards more progressive politics.

10. Donald Trump

Donald Trump’s presidency was marked by controversy and polarization. His policies, such as tax cuts and immigration restrictions, have had a significant impact on American politics. His impeachment and the storming of the Capitol in 2021 will also be remembered as defining moments of his presidency.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which U.S. President is considered the greatest according to historical surveys?

Historians generally agree that Abraham Lincoln is the greatest U.S. President of all time. In fact, he has consistently topped the lists of greatest American Presidents in various surveys conducted by scholars and experts. In the most recent Presidential Historians Survey conducted by C-SPAN in 2021, Lincoln secured the top spot, highlighting his exceptional leadership during the Civil War and his significant contributions towards abolishing slavery.

How do presidential historians rank the top American Presidents?

Presidential historians rank the top American Presidents based on their achievements and impact on the country. They evaluate the Presidents’ effectiveness in areas such as crisis leadership, vision and agenda setting, economic management, and public persuasion. They also consider their character, integrity, and moral authority. The rankings are based on a combination of objective and subjective criteria and are often influenced by the historians’ own political and ideological views.

What criteria are used to evaluate the effectiveness of U.S. Presidents?

Historians evaluate the effectiveness of U.S. Presidents based on various criteria, including their leadership skills, policy achievements, public support, and legacy. They also consider the context in which they served, such as the political, social, and economic challenges of their time. Some of the key factors that historians use to evaluate Presidents include their ability to manage crises, their vision and agenda setting, their economic policies, their foreign policy achievements, and their impact on civil rights and social justice.

Who are the most influential U.S. Presidents in history?

The most influential U.S. Presidents in history are those who have had a lasting impact on the country’s development and trajectory. Some of the most influential Presidents include George Washington, who played a crucial role in the founding of the nation; Abraham Lincoln, who led the country through the Civil War and abolished slavery; Franklin D. Roosevelt, who guided the country through the Great Depression and World War II; and Ronald Reagan, who redefined the role of government and conservatism in American politics.

Which U.S. Presidents have had the biggest impact on the country’s development?

Many U.S. Presidents have had a significant impact on the country’s development, but some stand out more than others. Some of the Presidents who have had the biggest impact on the country’s development include George Washington, who helped establish the foundations of American democracy; Thomas Jefferson, who authored the Declaration of Independence and expanded the nation’s territory; Abraham Lincoln, who preserved the Union and abolished slavery; and Franklin D. Roosevelt, who implemented the New Deal and led the country through World War II.

What are the latest rankings of U.S. Presidents by scholars?

The latest rankings of U.S. Presidents by scholars are based on the most recent surveys and polls conducted by various organizations. In the most recent Presidential Historians Survey conducted by C-SPAN in 2021, Abraham Lincoln was ranked as the greatest U.S. President of all time, followed by George Washington, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt, and Dwight D. Eisenhower. However, different surveys and polls may produce different results, depending on the methodology and criteria used.

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TPNW can prevent nuclear disaster in South Asia

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The second Meeting of States Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons began at the United Nations Headquarters on 27 November and will continue until 1 December 2023. Ambassador (Dr.) Juan Ramón de la Fuente (Mexico) was elected as President of the Meeting.

António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations calls the Treaty “an important step towards the goal of a world free of nuclear weapons and a strong demonstration of support for multilateral approaches to nuclear disarmament.”

Ambassador Melissa Parke of Australia and the Executive Director of ‘International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons’ (ICAN) warned the world body during the high-level opening statement that “Nuclear-armed states, instead of pursuing disarmament following their legal obligations, are squandering tens of billions of dollars every year to ‘improve’ and expand their arsenals. A theft from the world’s poor. An insult to all who value peace…Some of these same states are also waging wars of aggression – with staggering death tolls and undeniable nuclear risks…Against this backdrop of bloodshed, we must renew our call not only for nuclear disarmament, but also, more broadly, for multilateral approaches to peace and security, and for adherence to the international rule of law, based on the UN Charter.”

It is worth mentioning here that ICAN was awarded Nobel Peace Prize in 2017 for the leadership role it played in achieving Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

Arundhati Roy, an Indian novelist and activist was representing the aspirations of hundreds of millions of people all over the world when she wrote in “Cost of Living” that “It is such a supreme folly to believe that nuclear weapons are deadly only if they’re used. The fact that they exist at all, their presence in our lives, will wreak more havoc than we can begin to fathom. Nuclear weapons pervade our thinking. Control our behaviour. Administer our societies. Inform our dreams. They bury themselves like meat hooks deep in the base of our brains. They are purveyors of madness. They are the ultimate colonizer. Whiter than any white man that ever lived. The very heart of whiteness.”

I completely agree with Ms. Roy for her foresight about the danger of the existence of nuclear weapons. Perhaps not by coincidence, the danger of nuclear threat in South Asia should be of paramount interest to the world body. Kashmir is the bone of contention in the nuclear confrontation between India and Pakistan. It has been regarded by President Bill Clinton as the most dangerous place on earth. Former Prime Minister of New Zealand, Helen Clark said, “Kashmir is a nuclear flashpoint.” Kashmir is the only nation in the world which is surrounded by three nuclear powers – India, Pakistan & China. Perhaps that was the reason that former President Obama said on November 10, 2010, in New Delhi, “The resolution of Kashmir is in the interest of India, Pakistan and the region and the United States.”

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Kashmir currently has more than 900,000 military and paramilitary troops occupying the Valley with no more than 10 million people, a ratio of one soldier for every 10 citizens. However, because of their concentration in the towns and cities, the density is more like 5 to one. Imagine what that would be like on your city block.

Having so many troops in this small country whose size is no greater in square miles than the U.S. state of Tennessee should certainly be a cause for concern by anyone. Why are Indian forces there? Where’s the war? Is neighbouring Pakistan about to invade? Is China? Do they have a similar number of troops amassing at the border? This is more than three times the number of troops the U.S. had at the height of the Iraq War. The answer is None of the Above. It’s a curious fact that we have a very circular problem inherent in a deep paranoia India has long had of an uprising and its use of such troops to maintain control and put down any threat has become a way of life. It’s like avoiding a fire by burning down the house first.

The possibility of such an uprising is greatly enhanced and exacerbated by the presence of these troops and would more likely be a direct provocation for such an uprising and has been. Rather than relieve the pressure in the cooker by taking it off the fire, India’s solution has been to simply turn up the burner. The greatest cause of discontent is this constant abrasive to the social conscience, this erosion of trust in New Delhi, and a pervasive atmosphere of fear. People look for leadership elsewhere in their ranks, and they have. There is a deeply entrenched movement at the grassroots level that has become very influential in being the voice of public opinion.

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It is a historical fact that when the Kashmir dispute erupted in 1947-1948, the United States championed the stand that the future status of Kashmir must be ascertained following the wishes and aspirations of the people of the territory. The United States was the principal sponsor of resolution # 47 which was adopted by the Security Council on 21 April 1948 and based on that unchallenged principle. Following the resolution, the United States, a leading member of the United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan (UNCIP), adhered to that stand.  The basic formula for settlement was incorporated in the resolutions of that Commission adopted on 13 August 1948 and 5 January 1949.

But India would not then and will not now honour that commitment or admit that its claim to Kashmir is illegitimate. And it will not admit to the world that the people of Kashmir have no faith in Indian democracy. Perhaps India believes that if it keeps repeating the same lie over and over again, that Kashmir is an integral part of India, things will settle down if a few carrots are offered, and the problem will go away.


Who knows it better than India that the cry for azadi (Freedom) in Kashmir has simply gotten louder? As such the level of tensions between India and Kashmir and between India and Pakistan show few signs of letting up any time soon. And ignoring the decades-old problem of refusing to resolve the question of Kashmiri sovereignty and self-determination has not only led to deep unrest among the Kashmiris; it has also led to two wars between India and Pakistan. That they are now both nuclear-armed states raises the stakes dramatically and calls for action to defuse these tensions immediately.

Perhaps it’s time the major powers take this seriously. The answer is plain as day for anyone. Kashmir has international legitimacy. It has international sanctity. It commits the United Nations Security Council. These commitments should once and for all be honoured. The clock is ticking. Every day that passes without a resolution of the Kashmir dispute is one day closer to a cataclysm that will reach far beyond the borders of all countries involved.

Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai is also Secretary General World Kashmir Awareness Forum.

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Henry Kissinger’s Death: What You Need to Know About His Legacy

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Introduction

Henry Kissinger was a prominent figure in US foreign policy, serving as National Security Advisor under President Nixon and later as Secretary of State under President Ford. He was known for his controversial foreign policy decisions that left an indelible mark on US foreign policy. Kissinger passed away on November 30, 2023, at the age of 100, leaving behind a legacy that is both celebrated and criticized.

Early Life and Career

Henry Kissinger was born in Germany in 1923 and immigrated to the United States in 1938 to escape Nazi persecution. He attended Harvard University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and a doctorate in international relations. After completing his studies, Kissinger worked as a professor of government at Harvard and as a consultant to the US government on foreign policy issues.

Role in US Foreign Policy

Kissinger’s role in US foreign policy began in 1969 when he was appointed National Security Advisor by President Nixon. In this role, Kissinger played a key role in shaping US foreign policy during the Cold War. He was instrumental in negotiating the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT) with the Soviet Union and in establishing diplomatic relations with China.

In 1973, Kissinger was appointed Secretary of State by President Ford. In this role, he continued to play a prominent role in shaping US foreign policy. He was involved in negotiations to end the Vietnam War and played a key role in the Middle East peace process.

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Controversies and Criticisms

Despite his many accomplishments, Kissinger’s legacy is also marked by controversy. He has been accused of war crimes for his role in the US bombing campaign in Cambodia during the Vietnam War. He has also been criticized for his support of authoritarian regimes in Latin America and for his role in the overthrow of democratically elected governments in Chile and elsewhere.

Legacy and Impact

Despite the controversies surrounding his legacy, Kissinger’s impact on US foreign policy cannot be denied. He was a master of diplomacy and played a key role in shaping US foreign policy during a critical period in world history. His legacy continues to be debated, with some hailing him as a visionary and others condemning him as a war criminal.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Henry Kissinger was a complex figure whose legacy is both celebrated and criticized. He played a key role in shaping US foreign policy during a critical period in world history and his impact on US foreign policy cannot be denied. However, his legacy is also marked by controversy, and his role in some of the darker chapters of US foreign policy continues to be debated. Ultimately, the lessons that can be learned from Kissinger’s career are complex and multifaceted, and his legacy will continue to be debated for years to come.

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