CONAN: We just have a couple of minutes left. I wanted to ask you, finally, about a – something you wrote in a Washington Post op-ed just as the U.S.-China summit began in January. President Obama and Premiere Hu face an opinion among elites in their country that emphasizes conflict rather than cooperation, conflict rather than cooperation. Is the future going to be then dominated by those elite?
KISSINGER: Well, I hope that the elites will come to the realization that conflict between countries of this magnitude and of this impact will be catastrophic for the world.
I’ve often asked myself, what would have happened if, say, in 1910, the leaders of Europe had known what the world would look like in 1919, after four years of World War I. Would they have gotten into war or would they have try to find some means of settling the disputes that led to war and which had written out of a consciousness and a belief that conflict was the inevitable nature of foreign policy? And I’d say this as somebody who started on international relations by studying strategy and who is generally considered a defense hawk and maybe even a hardliner.
But the world that we are facing now obliges us to try to avoid sliding interest. And that is what my book was about and that’s some of the technical details.