Victor Davis Hanson // American Greatness
Nearly a half-century ago, President Richard Nixon’s secretary of state, Henry Kissinger, established a successful U.S. strategy for dealing with America’s two most dangerous rivals. He sought closer ties to both the Soviet Union, with its more than 7,000 nuclear weapons, and Communist China, with the world’s largest population.
Kissinger’s approach was sometimes called “triangulation.” But distilled down to its essence, the phrase meant ensuring that China and Russia were not friendlier to each other than each was to the United States.
Given that the Soviet Union was much stronger than China at the time, Kissinger especially courted Beijing.
The idea was similar to British and French policy in the mid-1930s of discouraging Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich from becoming the partner of Josef Stalin’s equally powerful and dangerous Soviet Union. Unfortunately, that effort failed, and Nazi-Soviet cooperation led to their joint invasion of Poland in 1939 and the outbreak of World War II.
We forgot Kissinger’s wisdom during the Obama administration’s coddling of China and the schizophrenic Russian “reset.”