A Letter from SCSP Chair & CEO

Remembering Dr. Henry A. Kissinger

The Special Competitive Studies Project remembers with respect and gratitude Dr. Henry Kissinger, whose intellectual legacy continues to inspire our work. SCSP draws its inspiration in part from the Special Studies Project, a bipartisan endeavor led by Dr. Kissinger in the 1950s that was aimed at defining the major problems and opportunities that the United States confronted as it shifted from the aftermath of World War II and faced an ideological adversary striving for nuclear parity.

Yet despite his work on the geopolitical and diplomatic challenges of the 20th century, Dr. Kissinger’s later years were marked by a keen interest in the implications of technological advancements, notably artificial intelligence (AI), on human reasoning, international relations, and national security. Often, Dr. Kissinger advocated for the thoughtful integration of AI into strategic considerations. He warned of its potential consequences while also highlighting the unprecedented opportunities it presents for diplomacy, intelligence, and warfare.

Inspired by Dr. Kissinger’s foresight into the transformative potential of AI and its ability to reshape the strategic landscape, SCSP is focused on the imperative of integrating emerging technologies within the broader strategic context. Our work on adapting to and leveraging new technologies for national competitiveness purposes is informed by Dr. Kissinger’s involvement in discussions on AI governance and the potential for AI to alter the balance of power. Today, it continues to align with the project’s objective of harnessing technological progress for strategic advantage while mitigating risks.

It is our hope that this paper, written in the style of a document that, 25 years after its drafting, was declassified by Dr. Kissinger himself, will serve as a beacon for navigating the complexities of the 21st-century strategic environment.


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