Henry Alfred Kissinger, (born May 27, 1923) former United States Secretary of State in the Nixon and
Ford Administrations and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, who played a dominant role in foreign affairs between 1969 and 1977.
An admirer of realpolitik, Kissinger pioneered the policy of détente, began strategic arms reduction talks,
"opened" China, ended the protracted Vietnam War, maintained friendly diplomatic relationships with anti-Communist military
governments in the Southern Cone, approved of covert CIA intervention in Chilean politics, and ended the U.S. doctrine of
undifferentiated containment of the Soviet Union through direct military intervention. Kissinger's foreign policy record has
made him a controversial figure amongst anti-war liberals and conservative anti-Communist hawks alike.
Nixon's Secretary of State declared that "Peace is at Hand" shortly before the voters went to the polls,
dealing a death blow to McGovern's campaign, which had been facing an uphill battle. However, the peace agreement was not
signed until the next year, leading many to conclude that Kissinger's announcement was just a political ploy. Kissinger's
defenders assert that the North Vietnamese negotiators had made use of Kissinger's pronouncement as an opportunity to embarrass
the Nixon Administration to weaken it at the negotiation table. White House Press Secretary Ron Ziegler on 30 November 1972
told the press that there would be no more public announcements concerning American troop withdrawals from Vietnam due to
the fact that troop levels were then down to 27,000. The US halted heavy bombing of North Vietnam on December 30, 1972.
On 15 January 1973, citing progress in peace negotiations, President Nixon announced the suspension of offensive
action in North Vietnam which was later followed by a unilateral withdrawal of US troops from Vietnam. The Paris Peace Accords
were later signed on 27 January 1973 which officially ended US involvement in the Vietnam conflict. This won the 1973 Nobel
Peace Prize for Kissinger and North Vietnam's Prime Minister Le Duc Tho while fighting continued, leading songwriter Tom Lehrer
to declare that irony had died.