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Democratic nominee Jimmy Carter talks with Zbigniew Brzezinski, July 29, 1976

Democratic nominee Jimmy Carter, center, talks with Zbigniew Brzezinski of Columbia University and Carters foreign policy advisor, left, and Stuart Eizenstat, director of issues and policies, second from left, Thursday, July 29, 1976, Plains, Ga. Carter is being briefed on foreign policy in the Carter pond house which is used as country home. The man on the right is unidentified. (Photo: Peter Bregg/AP)

Former national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski dies at 89

Zbigniew Brzezinski, the hawkish Polish-born Cold War strategist and former top aide to US president Jimmy Carter, has died, his family said. He was 89.

“My father passed away peacefully tonight,” MSNBC journalist Mika Brzezinski said on Instagram late on Friday.

“He was known to his friends as Zbig, to his grandchildren as Chief and to his wife as the enduring love of her life. I just knew him as the most inspiring, loving and devoted father any girl could ever have,” she wrote.

Born in Warsaw to a diplomat father, Brzezinski moved with his family to Canada in the late 1930s. He went on to attend McGill University in Montreal then earned a doctorate from Harvard, later becoming a US citizen.

After serving under president Lyndon Johnson, he went on to become Carter’s national security adviser during the Iranian hostage crisis.

He was a driving force behind the failed US commando mission to rescue the hostages, after which he resigned. He believed Soviet influence would sweep through Iran if US strength did not prevail in the drama.

Nominally a Democrat, he leaned conservative on security matters. A tough critic of the Soviet Union, he also helped broker the Camp David accords and worked on normalizing relations with China.

Though a rigorous anti-communist, he held that US interests around the world should be addressed in terms of strategy and practicality, not ideology. (AFP)

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