Zbigniew Brzezinski
Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski speaks about his book Strategic Vision: American and the Crisis of Global Power during a Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) discussion in Washington, DC, in 2012 JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images

Former US national security adviser to President Jimmy Carter, Zbigniew Brzezinski died on 26 May. He was 89. The senior Democratic Party member was best recognised for his stand on important foreign policies and is credited with influencing international ties that, even today, are considered landmarks in the United States' relations with other countries.

Soviet Union

Since his days as a student at McGill University and later Harvard University where he studied Soviet politics, Brzezinski went on to become a powerful voice against Soviet power. During his time serving as a counsellor to President Lyndon B Johnson from 1966 to 1968, he persuaded the administration to adopt peaceful engagement as the US strategy to undermine the Soviet bloc.


When Soviet troops invaded Afghanistan, Brzezinski initiated a 1979 campaign supporting the mujaheddin in Pakistan and Afghanistan with financial aid and then with arms, to counter the Eastern European influence in the country. This policy is often cited as the reason for the spread of groups like the Al Qaeda in the countries.


While critical of the Soviets' communist agenda, Brzezinski supported an improvement of ties between the US and China. It was during his time at the White House, in 1979, the United States forged diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China and consequently severed ties with the Republic of China or Taiwan.

A major reason for this decision to side with China was that added to America's strength in the Cold-War period since China had already removed itself from the larger Sino-Soviet bloc.

Menahem Begin and Zbigniew Brzezinski
Israeli Prime Minister Menahem Begin and National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski walk in Camp David 09 December 1978. President Carter met privately with Egyptian President Anwar Sadat on the eighth day of the summit AFP/Getty Images

Camp David Accords

Brzezinski took part in secret negotiations between Egypt's President Anwar El Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, which took place at Camp David in 1979. The talks led to the signing of the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty. Both Sadat and Begin were jointly awarded the 1978 Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts to end the conflict between the two countries.