Seasoning his remarks with tantalizing hints that he will be available to run for Jacob Javits' Senate seat if the New York Republican decides not deeper into the heat of U.S political kitchen yesterday with the most stinging public attack he has yet made on the Carter administration's foreign policy.
The souffle of criticism peaked on Africa, where the former secretary of state accused the administration of "totally supporting" Rhodesian guerrillas "equipped by the Soviet Union and trained by the Cubans" in the war against Prime Minister Ian Smith's government.
Speaking on a television interview program. Kissinger also took issue more pointedly than he was previously with Carter's handling of relations with the Soviet Union. While offering general prise for the results of the Camp David summit; he also noted disagreement on the administration's post-summit tactics.
Kissinger appeared on NBC television which has signed him to a five-year contract as a consultant for an undisclosed sum, estimated by television industry insiders to be around $1 million. He is also busily engaged in writing a book covering foreign policy in the Nixon and Ford administrations.
Until recently, he has been reluctant to engage in detailed public debate on the Carter administration's efforts abroad. But the appraoch of this year's congressional elections has brought him increasingly into partisan politics and into helping Republican candidates with public appearances, including fund raising.
Asked about growing speculation in New York that he is considering running for the Senate against Jarvits in 1980. Kissinger acknowledged that "obviously a lot of people have mentioned to me but right now I really haven't thought about it," adding when pressed. "It would be silly to say that one doesn't think about it, but right now I'm acting on the assumption that Javits is going to run."
Javits told reporters on Thursday that he has not yet decided about running and would not announce his decision before February 1980. His advisers are reportedly divided over whether the 74-year-old Javits, who is in good health, should run for what would be his fifth term.
Kissinger used a doubled-edged razzor to slice up Carter's handling of detente as initiated by Kissinger and Nixon. The administration has been "needlessly complaint toward Soviet geopolitical expansionism," he said. "The Soviets have gotten away with more than they should in their African expansionism."
At the same time, Carter's declarations hitting as the Russians for human rights abuses have caused "excessive tensions, produced by verba! declarations that have had no practical consequences, that they construe as attacking their internal system."
He declined to say if he would support a second strategic arms limitation talks (SALT) treaty with the Russians, which the administration feels will be agreed to by the end of the year. Asserting that the treaty has to be judged in the context of the Soviet-American balance of forces, Kissinger said he would wait until he saw Carter's five-year defense forces plan in January before deciding on the treaty.
Asked about Soviet strategy in the Middle East and Africa, Kissinger took the administration to task for not supporting the interim Rhodesian government headed by Smith and three black nationalist leaders, who have promised to hold free elections to bring the country's 6.5 million blacks to majority rule by the end of the year.
"It seems to me that we're putting ourselves in the wrong position if we give no encouragement whatever to people who are trying to govern on the basis of the vote and support totally those whose primary claim is that they have the guns, and guns moreover supplied by the Soviet Union and trained by the Cubans."
Kissinger was referring to the Patriotic Front guerrilla forces headed by Joshua Nkomo and Robert Mugabe.The Carter administration has called Smith's interim arrangement inadequate and said that there can be no lasting peace in Rhodesia unless all parties to the conflict, including Nkomo and Mugabe, negotiate an agreement for fair elections.
The biracial executive council was instituted by decree in March. Smith's government was formed in September 1977, after elections in which about 80,000 white settlers chose 50 whites for seats in Parliament. Blacks were allowed to vote for eight representatives and eight African chiefs have automatic Parliament seats.
On the Middle East, Kissinger praised Carter's efforts at Camp David, and urged that a formal Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty be singed as soon as possible.
Asked about Carter's efforts to rally Arab support, which included dispatching Secretary of State Cyrus R. Vance to Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Syria last week, Kissinger urged a more relaxed approach.
"The more we press other countries to take a formal position the more likely we are to get answers that appear in the media to be more negative than they really are. We should push it forward but not with an excessive sense of urgency," he said.
Vance was greeted by coordinated Jordanian and Saudi statements criticizing the Camp David accords, and Jordan's King Hussein turned down an invitation to talk with Carter in Washington in mid-October, although Vance and others had earlier assured reporters that Hussein was due here then.
On another issue, Kissinger was asked if he had authorized Graham Martin, the last U.S. ambassador to South Vietnam, to keep in his prossession a trunk full of secret documents that fell into the hands of car thieves in North Carolina early this year before being recovered. The Justice Department reportedly is investigating the case.
"I have never known that documents in fact he has taken. I have never seen a list of it," Kissinger said. "I was never consulted about exactly what he did with those documents when he returned." Pressed further, Kissinger said that Martin "had the general authorization that any ambassador has to take private papers."