Notable architects of US foreign policy
From 'Seward's folly' to the marshall plan, a snapshot of American diplomacy of the past.
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Henry Kissinger fashioned President Nixon's groundbreaking trip to China in 1972. Serving concurrently under Nixon and then President Ford as secretary of State and national security adviser, Kissinger is a high priest to foreign-policy realists but remains controversial for policies in Southeast Asia and Latin America, particularly the US role in the 1970 coup against Chilean President Salvador Allende.Skip to next paragraph
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George Shultz, secretary of State under President Reagan, revitalized the career diplomatic service and guided Reagan in undertaking a tough but pragmatic dialogue with Soviet leaders, in particular Mikhail Gorbachev.
James Baker constructed the 34-nation coalition that upheld the principle of national sovereignty by removing Saddam Hussein's Iraqi forces from Kuwait in the 1991 Gulf War. Mr. Baker also orchestrated the Madrid (Middle East) Peace Conference, reinforcing his reputation as the secretary of State with a finger in everything.
Madeleine Albright was named, after more than 200 years of American independence and 63 male predecessors, the first woman secretary of State. Ms. Albright pressed President Clinton to take NATO to the Balkans if Europe would not, and she called America "the indispensable nation."
Colin Powell, the first secretary of State of color, gave President George W. Bush instant international heft. But his marginalization from White House decisionmaking left him out of the Bush foreign-policy loop.
Powell's international reputation was used famously by the administration when he was called on to deliver to the United Nations a justification for the looming Iraq war featuring what turned out to be cooked-up evidence.