“The test of the statesman is the permanence of the international structure under stress.” These words from the opening essay in this volume announce a recurrent theme in the pages that follow. For while some of Henry Kissinger’s papers gathered here explore conceptual issues that world leaders often overlook during periods of international tension, and others display the global range of his policy initiatives while Secretary of State, all testify to his overriding concern with the necessity of building a stable framework of world order.
The initial two essays, “Domestic Structure and Foreign Policy” and “Central Issues of American Foreign Policy,” appeared in the original edition of this volume and have been retained as backdrops for fifteen major addresses delivered by Mr. Kissinger over the past four years. The new selections include a statement to Congress that traces the main lines of détente policy; a review of the step-by-step process of negotiations in the Middle East; an analysis of efforts to achieve accords, with the Soviet Union on strategic arms limitation without imperiling American national security; a speech to the United Nations on the imperative of establishing a balanced global approach to economic development and resource conservation; several papers that candidly appraise prospects for new ties between the United States and the nations of Asia, Africa, and Latin America; and one that sets forth measures to strengthen the bonds among the industrial democracies. In their scope and detail, these documents constitute a remarkable set of designs, blueprints, and working drawings by a master architect of foreign policy.