The Royal United Services Institute expresses its sorrow at the passing of Dr Henry Kissinger, a recipient of the Chesney Gold Medal, the Institute’s highest award for life-long distinguished contributions in the defence and international security fields, to the benefit of the United Kingdom and the international community.
The RUSI citation for the award of the Medal, dated 15 June 2015, described Dr Kissinger as “a man who has had a profoundly positive influence on the United States, the United Kingdom and our world”. And US General David Petraeus – another Chesney Gold Medal recipient, who presented the award to Dr Kissinger at a gala dinner held in the Tower of London on that day – praised him as “a thinker who continued to contribute to the national and international dialogues of the day, on the major issues in the ensuing for decades after serving in government.”
In his speech to the Institute after receiving the Medal, Dr Kissinger touched on subjects that remain relevant to this day, such as Ukraine’s strategic predicament in the heart of the European continent and perennial instability in the Middle East.
We will also cherish Dr Kissinger’s parting remarks to RUSI. “Before think tanks were imagined,” – he said, “RUSI provided a forum for the elaboration and discussion of strategic military doctrine through two World Wars, the Cold War and beyond. RUSI has encouraged creative thinking on strategy and on the special relationship of our countries.”