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Done Deal

Christopher Hitchens: Nixon in China, 5 April 2001

A Great Wall: Six Presidents and China 
by Patrick Tyler.
PublicAffairs, 512 pp., £11.99, September 2000, 1 58648 005 7
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... seems prehistoric. (Henry Kissinger threatened to criticise the move as well, but was contacted by Zbigniew Brzezinski and told that Carter might reveal what he knew of some past secret dealings. ‘The threat,’ Tyler drily minutes, ‘worked.’ Ten years later, Kissinger was attacking anybody who dared criticise the Chinese leadership for the ...

How China Colluded with the West in the Rise of Osama Bin Laden

Roger Hardy: International terrorism, 2 March 2000

Unholy Wars: Afghanistan, America and International Terrorism 
by John Cooley.
Pluto, 276 pp., £20, June 1999, 0 7453 1328 0
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... Cold War is perhaps the one which has been most neglected. There are those who remain unrepentant (Zbigniew Brzezinski is one); but Cooley hints that a number of highly placed Americans did not welcome his research. Clearly they, and others, want to sweep the whole affair under an oriental ...

Like Ordering Pizza

Thomas Meaney: Before Kabul, 9 September 2021

... Your cause is right and God is on your side!Zbigniew Brzezinski, US national security adviser, to the Afghan mujahedin,3 February 1980I have benefited so greatly from the jihad in Afghanistan that it would have been impossible for me to gain such a benefit from any other chance, and this cannot be measured by tens of years but rather more than that ...

Social Work with Guns

Andrew Bacevich: America’s Wars, 17 December 2009

... an embryonic instrument of military intervention. At the urging of his national security adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Carter also initiated a programme of covert assistance to the Afghan mujahedin resisting the Soviet occupation. Oblivious (or indifferent) to the potential consequences of destabilising Afghanistan, ...

Abolish the CIA!

Chalmers Johnson: ‘A classic study of blowback’, 21 October 2004

Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan and bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to 10 September 2001 
by Steve Coll.
Penguin, 695 pp., $29.95, June 2004, 1 59420 007 6
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... two years later with Le Nouvel Observateur, President Carter’s national security adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, proudly confirmed Gates’s assertion. ‘According to the official version of history,’ Brzezinski said, CIA aid to the mujahidin began during 1980, that’s to say, after the Soviet army invaded ...

What are we there for?

Tom Stevenson: The Gulf Bargain, 9 May 2019

AngloArabia: Why Gulf Wealth Matters to Britain 
by David Wearing.
Polity, 275 pp., £15.99, September 2018, 978 1 5095 3203 2
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... power. Western Middle East policy, as explained by Jimmy Carter’s national security adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, was to control the Gulf and stop any Soviet influence over ‘that vital energy resource upon which the economic and political stability both of Western Europe and of Japan depend’, or else the ‘geopolitical balance of power would be ...

Imperial Graveyard

Samuel Moyn: Richard Holbrooke, 6 February 2020

Our Man: Richard Holbrooke and the End of the American Century 
by George Packer.
Cape, 592 pp., £25, May 2019, 978 1 910702 92 5
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... military alliances and free trade. Unlike Carter’s more realist national security adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Holbrooke wanted, for instance, to denounce the genocide in Cambodia publicly. (Was it really ‘a higher form of political morality’, Packer wonders, ‘to point out an ongoing crime and do nothing to stop it than to stay ...

Rise of the Rest

Pankaj Mishra: After America, 6 November 2008

The Post-American World 
by Fareed Zakaria.
Allen Lane, 292 pp., £20, July 2008, 978 1 84614 153 9
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The Second World: Empires and Influence in the New Global Order 
by Parag Khanna.
Allen Lane, 466 pp., £25, April 2008, 978 0 7139 9937 2
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... joining a group of officials from previous administrations – Richard Holbrooke, Anthony Lake, Zbigniew Brzezinski – in blaming Bush for undermining the post-World War Two system of international alliances and treaties which had institutionalised American dominance. But the neocon ascendancy in Washington meant that calls for a more multilateralist ...

British Chill

Anatol Lieven: What E.H.Carr Got Right, 24 August 2000

The Vices of Integrity: E.H.Carr 1892-1928 
by Jonathan Haslam.
Verso, 306 pp., £25, July 1999, 1 85984 733 1
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... relations. One is a tendency on the part of ‘realists’ like Carr (and Henry Kissinger or Zbigniew Brzezinski) to treat states as unchanging monoliths, as fixed pieces on the ‘grand chessboard’. Carr’s habit of playing down the importance of ideology in Soviet foreign policy was matched by his underestimation of the impact of domestic ...

Burn Rate

Ed Harriman: The Iraq Disaster, 6 September 2007

... report by the International Crisis Group, whose trustees include Chris Patten, George Soros and Zbigniew Brzezinski, entitled ‘Where Is Iraq Heading? Lessons from Basra’, suggests that ‘the British appear to have given up on the idea of establishing a functioning state capable of equitably redistributing wealth and resources, imposing respect for ...

Knucklehead Truman

Douglas Johnson, 2 June 1983

The Eisenhower Diaries 
edited by Robert Ferrell.
Norton, 445 pp., £15.25, April 1983, 0 393 01432 0
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The Life and Times of Joe McCarthy: A Biography 
by Thomas Reeves.
Blond and Briggs, 819 pp., £11.95, June 1983, 0 85634 131 2
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The past has another pattern 
by George Ball.
Norton, 544 pp., £14.95, September 1982, 0 393 01481 9
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Torn Lace Curtain 
by Frank Saunders and James Southwood.
Sidgwick, 361 pp., £7.95, March 1983, 0 283 98946 7
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The Years of Lyndon Johnson: The Path to Power 
by Robert Caro.
Collins, 882 pp., £15, February 1983, 0 00 217062 0
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The Politician: The Life and Times of Lyndon Johnson 
by Ronnie Dugger.
Norton, 514 pp., £13.25, September 1982, 9780393015980
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Years of Upheaval 
by Henry Kissinger.
Weidenfeld/Joseph, 1312 pp., £15.95, March 1982, 0 7181 2115 5
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Richard Nixon: The Shaping of his Character 
by Fawn Brodie.
Norton, 574 pp., £14.95, October 1982, 0 393 01467 3
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Haig: The General’s Progress 
by Roger Morris.
Robson, 458 pp., £8.95, October 1982, 9780860511885
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Keeping Faith: Memoirs of a President 
by Jimmy Carter.
Collins, 622 pp., £15, November 1982, 0 00 216648 8
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Crisis: The Last Year of the Carter Presidency 
by Hamilton Jordan.
Joseph, 431 pp., £12.95, November 1982, 0 7181 2248 8
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Power and Principle: Memoirs of the National Security Adviser 1977-81 
by Zbigniew Brzezinski.
Weidenfeld, 587 pp., £15, April 1983, 0 297 78220 7
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... but it turned out that I only knew a few politicians’). What emerges from the Kissinger and Brzezinski memoirs, and from Roger Morris’s hostile account of Haig’s career, is not only the extent and the seriousness of the in-fighting that accompanies the process of nomination: the ensuing struggle for access to the President takes on a life, and a ...

In Search of New Enemies

Stephen Holmes, 24 April 1997

The Clash of Civilisations and the Remaking of World Order 
by Samuel Huntington.
Simon and Schuster, 370 pp., £16.99, February 1997, 0 684 81164 2
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... Roughly contemporary, as a Harvard graduate student in security studies, with Henry Kissinger and Zbigniew Brzezinski, Huntington failed to achieve their spectacular level of success in Washington, although he did rise to a second-tier position in the National Security Council under President Jimmy Carter. His intellectual achievements, by way of ...

Will the Empire ever end?

John Lloyd, 27 January 1994

Pandaemonium: Ethnicity in International Politics 
by Daniel Patrick Moynihan.
Oxford, 221 pp., £17.95, March 1993, 0 19 827787 3
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Nations and Politics in the Soviet Successor States 
edited by Ian Bremner and Ray Taras.
Cambridge, 577 pp., £55, December 1993, 0 521 43281 2
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The Post-Soviet Nations 
edited by Alexander Motyl.
Columbia, 322 pp., £23, November 1993, 0 231 07894 3
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The Baltic Revolution: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and the Path to Independence 
by Anatol Lieven.
Yale, 454 pp., £22.50, June 1993, 0 300 05552 8
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... is a new roll of honour containing those – Hélène Carrière d’Encausse, Robert Conquest, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Richard Pipes – who did see the fuse peeping out from the foundations and said as much. Indeed, a whole issue (Spring 1993) of the conservative US journal National Interest was largely devoted to a celebration of the Right’s greater ...

The Fall of the Shah

Malise Ruthven, 4 July 1985

Shah of Shahs 
by Ryszard Kapuściński, translated by William Brand.
Quartet, 152 pp., £9.95, March 1985, 0 7043 2473 3
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The Pride and the Fall: Iran 1974-1979 
by Anthony Parsons.
Cape, 160 pp., £8.95, April 1984, 0 224 02196 6
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Iran under the Ayatollahs 
by Dilip Hiro.
Routledge, 416 pp., £20, January 1985, 9780710099242
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Obbligato: Notes on a Foreign Service Career 
by William Sullivan.
Norton, 279 pp., £13.95, October 1984, 0 393 01809 1
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Envoy to the Middle World: Adventures in Diplomacy 
by George McGhee.
Harper and Row, 458 pp., £15.95, January 1984, 0 06 039025 5
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The Persians amongst the English 
by Denis Wright.
Tauris, 273 pp., £17.95, February 1985, 1 85043 002 0
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... as Ambassador in Laos and the Philippines, resigned from the foreign service after a row with Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Carter’s National Security Adviser, who wanted to launch a 1953-style counter-coup to save the Shah. Sullivan had urged making overtures to Khomeini at an earlier stage, having rightly decided that the Shah was unsavable. For ...


David Bromwich: The Establishment President, 13 May 2010

... he nominated to important posts but withdrew from consideration – the names would include Zbigniew Brzezinski, Robert Malley, Rashid Khalidi and the anti-war Republican senator Chuck Hagel, whose leaked note to George W. Bush may have saved the US from a war with Iran in 2007. If one made it a list of incidents as well as persons, one would have ...

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