Case 353 - Circumventing the Foreign Policy Bureaucracy: Henry Kissinger, Anatoly Dobrynin, and Back-Channel Diplomacy

by Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at Georgetown University
$ 3.50

Richard A. Moss

This case study explores the back-channel relationship between Henry Kissinger, who served as Nixon’s national security advisor (and later secretary of state), and Anatoly Dobrynin, the Soviet Union’s ambassador to the United States from 1962 to 1986. During the Nixon administration (1969-1974), the Kissinger-Dobrynin channel became the primary forum for candid discussion of the major issues in superpower relations, often to the exclusion of the traditional diplomatic bureaucracy of the U.S. Department of State. 

The case, which is derived from the author's book, Nixon’s Back Channel to Moscow: Confidential Diplomacy and Détente (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2017), combines a detailed historical account of the Nixon-era back-channel diplomacy with interactive teaching resources