This chapter explores Richard Nixon’s and Henry Kissinger’s disdain for hegemony and search for primacy as they sought to refurbish America’s tarnished reputation. Through their pursuit of détente with the Soviet Union and China, their resort to the Nixon Doctrine (to exit as gracefully as possible from Indochina), and the meeting at the Smithsonian Institution in December 1971 to restore America’s global economic stature, they attempted to achieve U.S. primacy in world affairs. Their efforts to implement the novel grand strategy of strategic globalism fell short, as seen in the difficulty of extricating the United States from Vietnam, Nixon’s Watergate imbroglio, and the presence of competing visions of world order among allies, most notably in West Germany’s pursuit of Ostpolitik.
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