In looking at Henry Kissinger's Diplomacy, what is the point that Kissinger is trying to make with his repeated use of Realpolitik in chapters five and six?

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hantayo | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

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Kissinger, Nixon's Secretary of State, introduce the old European concept of "realpolitik" in foreign affairs as a contrast to the ideological approach that had defined the diplomacy of the Cold War era through the 1960s and 70s, that being capitalism and democracy verses communism and autocratic government, which had resulted in proxy wars, the space race, arms race, etc.  The basis for realpolitik was founded on the belief that nations should conduct foreign affairs based on that nation's particular needs at that particular time and in affairs with other nations find a common ground in which each involved nation could not only assist other nations in meeting their needs, but also meet their own needs.  In other words, this concept is based on mutual benefit to participants. 

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