look at the whole board

A master chess player once told his student “look at the whole board.” Taking in the big picture before making strategic decisions is the lesson from chess. This is true in life but nowhere is this more important than foreign policy.

Many people today have no recollection of Henry Kissinger other than, perhaps a historical figure from the late 20th century. I am old enough to remember Kissinger’s work in the late 60s and 70s. I paid close attention as a teenager. I remember watching the draft lottery on TV and wondering if the war would last until I was 18. It ended in my senior year, I was 18.

Years later as part of my introduction to the Balkans, I discovered the work of Robert Kaplan. He is still a source for me as he writes about foreign affairs for The Atlantic.

Today I discovered Kaplan’s new article on Kissinger. Whether it be a history lesson or a review, I think you will profit from considering the big picture or, if you will, the whole board of a great chess game: Kissinger, the Cold War and foreign policy.

Click here to read the article in this month’s The Atlantic.

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Filed under culture, seeking understanding

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