Thursday, 30 November 2023 15:14

Statement by Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III on the Passing of Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger Featured

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I am deeply saddened by the passing of former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger at the age of 100. He was the rare scholar turned strategist, and he has been widely hailed as one of our most powerful and influential secretaries of state.  Dr. Kissinger led an extraordinary American life. In 1938, his parents fled virulent anti-Semitism in Hitler's Germany and began anew in New York City. This young refugee from Nazi Germany became the first and only American to simultaneously serve as both Secretary of State and Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs.   Dr. Kissinger's involvement with the Department of Defense spanned from his service in the U.S. Army during World War II, when he was awarded a Bronze Star, to sitting on the Defense Policy Board late in his long life. In 2016, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter awarded Dr. Kissinger the Department's Distinguished Public Service Award, our highest civilian honor. At that ceremony, Secretary Carter noted that "Henry Kissinger has demonstrated to each of us how serious strategic thinking and perspective can deliver pragmatic solutions to seemingly intractable problems."

Dr. Kissinger served two Presidents and offered counsel to 10 more. I sought his geopolitical perspective repeatedly over the course of my career and always found our exchanges thought-provoking. On behalf of the Department of Defense, I extend my deep condolences to his wife Nancy, his children Elizabeth and David, and the entire Kissinger family.


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