In TheSpectator.com, Henry Kissinger disagrees with voices who say their preferred outcome is “a Russia rendered impotent by the war.” Dr. K was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for negotiating the ceasefire contained in the Nobel Peace Accords (“Ending the War and Restoring Peace in Vietnam”).
In his article on how to prevent another world war, Mr. Kessinger reminds readers that for all Russia’s propensity to violence, it has made “decisive contributions to the global equilibrium and to the balance of power for over half a millennium.”
Russia – a Global Nuclear Reach
(Russia’s) historical role should not be degraded. Russia’s military setbacks have not eliminated its global nuclear reach, enabling it to threaten escalation in Ukraine. Even if this capability is diminished, the dissolution of Russia or destroying its ability for strategic policy could turn its territory encompassing eleven time zones into a contested vacuum.
(Russia’s) competing societies might decide to settle their disputes by violence. Other countries might seek to expand their claims by force. All these dangers would be compounded by the presence of thousands of nuclear weapons which make Russia one of the world’s two largest nuclear powers.
As the world’s leaders strive to end the war in which two nuclear powers contest a conventionally armed country, they should also reflect on the impact on this conflict and on long-term strategy of incipient high-technology and artificial intelligence. Autonomous weapons already exist, capable of defining, assessing and targeting their own perceived threats and thus in a position to start their own war.
Mr. Kessinger warns that overwhelming the “disjunction between advanced technology and the concept of strategies for controlling it, or even understanding its full implications, is as important an issue today as climate change.”
Required, advises Dr. K, are leaders with a command of both technology and history.
The quest for peace and order has two components that are sometimes treated as contradictory: the pursuit of elements of security and the requirement for acts of reconciliation. If we cannot achieve both, we will not be able to reach either. The road of diplomacy may appear complicated and frustrating. But progress to it requires both the vision and the courage to undertake the journey.