The Wall Street Journal reports that Henry Kissinger is concerned about a decline in world leadership.
Is the quality of world leadership declining just as humanity’s need for great leadership has become more urgent than ever? As I learned over a long lunch this month, Henry Kissinger thinks that is exactly where things stand, and he worries that civilization may be imperiled as a result….
Great leaders must bridge the gap between public opinion in their own countries and the compromises inseparable from international diplomacy. They must see the world clearly enough to understand what is possible and sustainable, and they must be able to persuade their fellow citizens to accept outcomes that are, inevitably, often disappointing. Paradoxically, this task is often harder in a powerful state such as America, which is often able to get much of what it wants in the world. Small and weak countries understand the need for compromise; great and powerful ones often think they can have it all….
Today, Mr. Kissinger warns, the problem of world order is growing harder. Great-power rivalries intensify, China is a more complex challenge than the Soviet Union ever was, and international trust diminishes as the potential for global conflict steadily grows. We need wisdom more than ever, Mr. Kissinger says, but it is not so easy to find.