60+ Zbigniew Brzezinski Quotes

Zbigniew Brzezinski Quotes

Zbigniew Brzezinski (1928-2017) was a Polish-American diplomat, political scientist, and strategist who made significant contributions to U.S. foreign policy during the Cold War era. He was born in Warsaw, Poland, and later emigrated to the United States with his family in 1938.

Brzezinski’s academic career began at Harvard University, where he earned his Bachelor’s degree in 1949, followed by a Master’s degree and Ph.D. in government. He went on to teach at Harvard and Columbia University, becoming a prominent scholar in the field of international relations.

During the 1970s, Brzezinski served as the National Security Advisor under President Jimmy Carter from 1977 to 1981. In this role, he played a crucial part in shaping U.S. foreign policy, particularly in relation to the Soviet Union. Brzezinski believed in the importance of human rights and sought to promote democracy around the world. He was known for his tough stance against the Soviet Union and his advocacy for a proactive U.S. foreign policy.

One of Brzezinski’s most notable achievements was his role in the Soviet-Afghan War. He supported the arming and training of Afghan rebels (known as the Mujahideen) to resist the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. The United States provided military aid to the Mujahideen, and this conflict is often seen as a precursor to later events, including the rise of the Taliban and the emergence of Osama bin Laden.

After leaving the White House, Brzezinski continued to be a prolific writer and commentator on international affairs. He authored several influential books, including “The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives.” In his later years, he remained an active voice in debates on U.S. foreign policy and global security.

Zbigniew Brzezinski’s impact on U.S. foreign policy, particularly during the Cold War, is widely acknowledged. He played a significant role in shaping America’s approach to global affairs and was known for his strategic thinking and emphasis on the promotion of democratic values.

Zbigniew Brzezinski Quotes

1. “We can’t have an intelligent foreign policy unless we have an intelligent public, because we’re a democracy.”
— Zbigniew Brzezinski

2. “The Soviet Union’s termination, which brought to an end the bipolar world, ushered in an era of U.S. hegemony. Hegemony, however, should not be confused with omnipotence. Hegemony is not omnipotence but is certainly preponderance.”
— Zbigniew Brzezinski

3. “Fear obscures reason, intensifies emotions, and makes it easier for demagogic politicians to mobilize the public on behalf of the policies they want to pursue.”
— Zbigniew Brzezinski

4. “Foreign policy should not be justified through making oneself feel good, but through results that have tangible consequences.”
— Zbigniew Brzezinski

5. “We didn’t push the Russians to intervene, but we knowingly increased the probability that they would.”
— Zbigniew Brzezinski

6. “In the nineteenth century, men died believing in the cause of royalty or republicanism. In reality, much of their sacrifice was rendered on the altar of the new nationalism.”
— Zbigniew Brzezinski

7. “America’s decline would set in motion tectonic shifts undermining the political stability of the entire Middle East.”
— Zbigniew Brzezinski

8. “The public has been told repeatedly that terrorism is ‘evil,’ which it undoubtedly is, and that ‘evildoers’ are responsible for it, which doubtless they are. But beyond these justifiable condemnations, there is a historical void.”
— Zbigniew Brzezinski

9. “There’s something troubling about a condition in which one country alone, which has roughly 5 percent of the world’s population, spends more than 50 percent of the world’s defense budgets. There’s something weird about it.”
— Zbigniew Brzezinski

10. “American power worldwide is at its historic zenith.”
— Zbigniew Brzezinski

11. “All the historical pretenders to global power originated in Eurasia.”
— Zbigniew Brzezinski

12. “It is important to ask ourselves, as citizens, whether a world power can provide global leadership on the basis of fear and anxiety.”
— Zbigniew Brzezinski

13. “During the twentieth century, men fought on behalf of nationalism. Yet the wars they fought were also engendered by dislocations in world markets and by social revolution stimulated by the coming of the industrial age.”
— Zbigniew Brzezinski

14. “Rushing to war is not a wise course of action.”
— Zbigniew Brzezinski

15. “Commitment and credibility go hand in hand.”
— Zbigniew Brzezinski

16. “If we can deter the Soviet Union, if we can deter North Korea, why on earth can’t we deter Iran?”
— Zbigniew Brzezinski

17. “Moderation and bipartisan consensus go hand in hand.”
— Zbigniew Brzezinski

18. “We have actually experienced in recent months a dramatic demonstration of an unprecedented intelligence failure, perhaps the most significant intelligence failure in the history of the United States.”
— Zbigniew Brzezinski

19. “World War II and the ensuing Cold War compelled the United States to develop a sustained commitment to Western Europe and the Far East.”
— Zbigniew Brzezinski

20. “Basically, I see Iran as an authentic nation-state. And that authentic identity gives it cohesion, which most of the Middle East lacks.”
— Zbigniew Brzezinski

21. “Democrats should insist that a pluralistic democracy such as ours rely on bipartisanship in formulating a foreign policy based on moderation and the nuances of the human condition.”
— Zbigniew Brzezinski

22. “The culture of self-gratification and deregulation that began during the Clinton years and continued under President George W. Bush led to the bursting of one stock market bubble at the turn of the century and a full-scale financial crash less than a decade later.”
— Zbigniew Brzezinski

23. “There’s no point considering something which is very unrealistic.”
— Zbigniew Brzezinski

24. “We should be therefore supporting a larger Europe, and in so doing we should strive to expand the zone of peace and prosperity in the world which is the necessary foundation for a stable international system in which our leadership could be fruitfully exercised.”
— Zbigniew Brzezinski

25. “We cannot have that relationship if we only dictate or threaten and condemn those who disagree.”
— Zbigniew Brzezinski

26. “The first and most important is to emphasize the enduring nature of the alliance relationship particularly with Europe which does share our values and interests even if it disagrees with us on specific policies.”
— Zbigniew Brzezinski

27. “Palestinian terrorism has to be rejected and condemned, yes. But it should not be translated defacto into a policy of support for a really increasingly brutal repression, colonial settlements and a new wall.”
— Zbigniew Brzezinski

28. “It is said that the West had a global policy in regard to Islam. That is stupid. There isn’t a global Islam.”
— Zbigniew Brzezinski

29. “In Iraq we must succeed. Failure is not an option.”
— Zbigniew Brzezinski

30. “But if Russia is to be part of this larger zone of peace it cannot bring into it its imperial baggage. It cannot bring into it a policy of genocide against the Chechens, and cannot kill journalists, and it cannot repress the mass media.”
— Zbigniew Brzezinski

31. “The war of choice in Iraq could never have gained the congressional support it got without the psychological linkage between the shock of 9/11 and the postulated existence of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.”
— Zbigniew Brzezinski

32. “Eurasia is the world’s axial supercontinent. A power that dominated Eurasia would exercise decisive influence over two of the world’s three most economically productive regions: Western Europe and East Asia.”
— Zbigniew Brzezinski

33. “America’s victory in the Cold War was not without painful social costs.”
— Zbigniew Brzezinski

34. “I think it is important to ask ourselves as citizens, not as Democrats attacking the administration, but as citizens, whether a world power can really provide global leadership on the basis of fear and anxiety?”
— Zbigniew Brzezinski

35. “Constant reference to a ‘war on terror’ did accomplish one major objective: It stimulated the emergence of a culture of fear.”
— Zbigniew Brzezinski

37. “The legitimacy of the leadership depends on what that country thinks of its leaders.”
— Zbigniew Brzezinski

38. “One-sided national economic triumphs cannot be achieved in the increasingly interwoven global economy without precipitating calamitous consequences for everyone.”
— Zbigniew Brzezinski

39. “Anniversaries are like birthdays: occasions to celebrate and to think ahead, usually among friends with whom one shares not only the past but also the future.”
— Zbigniew Brzezinski

40. “War on terrorism defines the central preoccupation of the United States in the world today, and it does reflect in my view a rather narrow and extremist vision of foreign policy of the world’s first superpower, of a great democracy, with genuinely idealistic traditions.”
— Zbigniew Brzezinski

41. “Americans don’t learn about the world; they don’t study world history, other than American history in a very one-sided fashion, and they don’t study geography.”
— Zbigniew Brzezinski

42. “We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam war.”
— Zbigniew Brzezinski

43. “Bipartisanship helps to avoid extremes and imbalances. It causes compromises and accommodations. So let’s cooperate.”
— Zbigniew Brzezinski

44. “Look at Islam in a rational manner and without demagoguery or emotion. It is the leading religion of the world with 1.5 billion followers.”
— Zbigniew Brzezinski

45. “With the decline of America’s global preeminence, weaker countries will be more susceptible to the assertive influence of major regional powers.”
— Zbigniew Brzezinski

46. “The difference between the Bush I war against Iraq and the Bush II war against Iraq is that in the first one, we appealed to the sentiments and interests of the different groupings in the region and had them with us. In the second one, we did it on our own, on the basis of false premises, with extremely brutality and lack of political skill.”
— Zbigniew Brzezinski

47. “Sovereignty is a word that is used often but it has really no specific meaning. Sovereignty today is nominal. Any number of countries that are sovereign are sovereign only nominally and relatively.”
— Zbigniew Brzezinski

48. “If we slide into a pattern of just thinking about today, we’ll end up reacting to yesterday instead of shaping something more constructive in the world.”
— Zbigniew Brzezinski

49. “Can we really mobilize support, even of friends, when we tell them that if you are not with us you are against us?”
— Zbigniew Brzezinski

50. “Let’s cooperate and challenge the administration to cooperate with us because within the administration there are also moderates and people who are not fully comfortable with the tendencies that have prevailed in recent times.”
— Zbigniew Brzezinski

51. “A Russia that gradually begins to gravitate toward the West will also be a Russia that ceases to disrupt the international system.”
— Zbigniew Brzezinski

52. “According to the official version of history, CIA aid to the Mujahadeen began during 1980, that is to say, after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan, 24 Dec 1979.”
— Zbigniew Brzezinski

53. “Yes, ISIS is a threat. It’s more than a nuisance. It’s also in many respects criminal violence. But it isn’t, in my view, a central strategic issue facing humanity.”
— Zbigniew Brzezinski

54. “Hard power makes sense under some circumstances. But there’s not a universal solution to global problems.”
— Zbigniew Brzezinski

55. “We should seek to cooperate with Europe, not to divide Europe to a fictitious new and a fictitious old.”
— Zbigniew Brzezinski

56. “We need to ask who is the enemy, and the enemies are terrorists.”
— Zbigniew Brzezinski

57. “To increase the zone of peace is to build the inner core of a stable international zone.”
— Zbigniew Brzezinski

58. “Not to mention the fact that of course, terrorists hate freedom. I think they do hate. But believe me, I don’t think they sit there abstractly hating freedom.”
— Zbigniew Brzezinski

59. “Indeed, for almost 10 years, Moscow had to carry on a war unsupportable by the government, a conflict that brought about the demoralization and finally the breakup of the Soviet empire.”
— Zbigniew Brzezinski

60. “I cite these events because I think they underline two very disturbing phenomena – the loss of U.S. international credibility, the growing U.S. international isolation.”
— Zbigniew Brzezinski

61. “The ‘war on terror’ has created a culture of fear in America.”
— Zbigniew Brzezinski

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