Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger said the U.S. is close to war with Russia and China.
Kissinger, 99, made his comments during an interview with The Wall Street Journal. He recently published his 19th book, “Leadership: Six Studies in World Strategy.”
"We are at the edge of war with Russia and China on issues which we partly created, without any concept of how this is going to end or what it's supposed to lead to," he said.
Kissinger was asked if the U.S. could manage the two adversaries by triangulating between them.
"You can't just now say we're going to split them off and turn them against each other," he said. "All you can do is not to accelerate the tensions and to create options, and for that you have to have some purpose."
Kissinger said he believes the U.S. and China are headed for a crisis involving Taiwan.
"The policy that was carried out by both parties has produced and allowed the progress of Taiwan into an autonomous democratic entity and has preserved peace between China and the U.S. for 50 years," he said. "One should be very careful, therefore, in measures that seem to change the basic structure."
Kissinger sparked controversy in May when he suggested that Ukraine should be prepared to cede territory to Russia to help reach a peace agreement.
"I think Mr. Kissinger still lives in the 20th century and we are in the 21st century, and we are not going to give up any inch of our territory," Oleksiy Goncharenko, a Ukrainian member of Parliament, told CNBC.
Kissinger told the Journal it was a mistake for NATO to indicate to Ukraine that it might eventually join the pact.
"I thought that Poland — all the traditional Western countries that have been part of Western history — were logical members of NATO," he said. But he views Ukraine as a collection of territories once appended to Russia, which Russians see as their own.
"I was in favor of the full independence of Ukraine, but I thought its best role was something like Finland," Kissinger said.
But he said that due to Russia's actions in Ukraine, "now I consider, one way or the other, formally or not, Ukraine has to be treated in the aftermath of this as a member of NATO."
Kissinger still believes there will be a settlement that preserves Russia's territorial gains from its initial incursion in 2014.
Kissinger was asked if he had any regrets from his years as America's top diplomat.
"From a manipulative point of view, I ought to learn a great answer to that question, because it's always being asked," he said. "I do not torture myself with things we might have done differently."
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