Zbigniew Brzezinski, former U.S. national security advisor, dead at 89

Raquel Nash
May 28, 2017

"He was known to his friends as Zbig, to his grandchildren as Chief and to his wife as the enduring love of her life", she said in a post on Instagram.

Brzezinski supported the military mission to rescue the 52 hostages held by radicals in Tehran. "His ideas and advocacy helped shape decades of American national security policy".

When Soviet troops invaded Afghanistan, Brzezinski strongly backed arming Afghan rebels.

Carter described Brzezinski as brilliant, dedicated, and loyal.

Brzezinski had long remained an active voice in foreign policy circles.

While critical of the Soviets' communist agenda, Brzezinski supported an improvement of ties between the USA and China.

"So if you will, for the Israelis, the benefit was strategic; for the Egyptians, the benefit was national, territorial; for the United States, it created an opening wedge for a continued effort to promote peace, but an effort which, as we all know unfortunately, over the last 20 years, 25 years, hasn't really paid off, hasn't really been successful, in part because, as I said earlier, presidential leadership has not been present and the United States has not continued to play the role of a balanced and fair mediator". Brzezinski, the national security adviser to President Carter, has died at age 89.

Born in Warsaw and educated in Canada and the United States, Brzezinski was an acknowledged expert in Communism when he attracted the attention of USA policymakers.

While he was skeptical of Soviet motives and objectives, Brzezinski nurtured a diplomatic friendship between the United States and China, which culminated in a trip to Beijing in June 1978 that led to re-establishment of diplomatic ties. When Communists took power in Poland six years later, he retired and moved his family to a farm in the Canadian countryside. Supported by the Pentagon, he began to push for military action.

Brzezinski received a doctorate from Harvard University in 1953 and became an American citizen in 1958.

Impressed nonetheless, the Johnson administration appointed him to the State Department's Policy Planning Council in 1966.

Carter eventually accepted Brzezinski's proposal for the ill-fated mission, in which eight servicemen died.

Despite his lifelong antipathy to Soviet communism, he joined Defense Secretary Brown in spearheading an unsuccessful drive to win Senate approval for the 1979 SALT-2 arms control accord. He also taught foreign policy at Johns Hopkins University.

Brzezinski recently was a senior research professor of global relations at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced worldwide Studies and a counselor for the Center for Strategic and worldwide Studies. For the White House, the differences between Mr Vance and Mr Brzezinski became a major headache, confusing the American public about the administration's policy course and fuelling a decline in confidence that Mr Carter could keep his foreign policy team working in tandem. After Donald Trump's election in November, he observed that the world was watching USA political developments "with some stupefaction".

He was an outspoken critic of the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq from the very beginning, and he was also a vocal critic of U.S. President Donald Trump.

Other reports by TheDigitalNewspaper

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