An analysis of americas policy of containment by george kennan in 1947

In the s, anti-slavery forces in the United States developed a free soil strategy of containment, without using the word, to stop the expansion of slavery until it later collapsed. Historian James Oakes explains the strategy: In Belgium, Spain, and Italy, Bismarck exerted strong and sustained political pressure to support the election or appointment of liberal, anticlerical governments.

An analysis of americas policy of containment by george kennan in 1947

Bernstein The containment doctrine, with its ambiguities and imprecision, was a major strategy and the guiding conception in American foreign policy from shortly after World War II until the collapse of the Soviet Union in —, and some might argue that containment remained a policy into the twenty-first century for the United States in dealing with communist regimes in CubaNorth Koreaand China.

In its most general form, containment denotes the American effort, by military, political, and economic means, to resist communist expansion throughout the world. Kennan, an influential foreign service officer in and later a respected private scholar, often opposed important tactics that many American policymakers defined as the implementation of containment: As Kennan stated in If … I was the author in of a "doctrine" of containment, it was a doctrine that lost much of its rationale with the death of Stalin and with the development of the Soviet-Chinese conflict.

I emphatically deny the paternity of any efforts to invoke that doctrine today in situations to which it has, and can have, no proper relevance. While agreeing on the desirability of resisting communist expansion, Kennan and others disagreed on whether the doctrine remained relevant, and how and where to implement it.

Their disputes have often rested on fundamental differences about the capacity of American power, about the extent of American interests beyond western Europe, and especially about the nature of the communist threat.

An analysis of americas policy of containment by george kennan in 1947

The last issue has raised many questions. Was the threat subversion, revolution, military aggression, economic encirclement, or some combination?

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With the exception of Yugoslaviawas world communism controlled by Joseph Stalin even after the successful Chinese revolution in ? After the death of Joseph Stalin in and after the obvious Sino-Soviet split in the early s, did the nature of the communist threat sometimes change, even well before the collapse of the Soviet Union in —?

At times from the early s, according to the proponents of containment, was the threat primarily China and wars of national liberation in the Third Worldand not the Soviet Union mostly in the developed world? Beyond these important issues, scholars, as well as politicians and policymakers, have raised other questions: Many of the questions about containment, if it is interpreted as the general course of American foreign policy, become the basic questions about that policy itself, from Harry S.

An analysis of americas policy of containment by george kennan in 1947

That mid statement, it might be said, became the near-canonical expression of containment, though Kennan himself, even in the s when operating in the State Department, provided various formulations in speeches and reports that departed, sometimes, significantly from the essay.

When his identity quickly leaked out, his Mr. Such a policy "must be … long-term, patient but firm and vigilant.

Containment promised the liberation of Eastern Europe and an American victory in the long run, without preventive war. History was on the side of the West. His faith that the future belonged to democratic capitalism directly repudiated the Marxist faith that capitalism would crumble from its own contradictions.

Soviet policy was, he asserted, relentless but not adventurous—"a fluid stream which moves constantly wherever permitted to move toward a given goal. Soviet hostility to the West, in turn, was a result largely of the "neurotic world view" of Soviet leaders and of their need to create a foreign enemy to justify dictatorship at home.

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Their "world view" was both paranoid and functional; it misunderstood Western actions but also helped Soviet leaders to stay in power. The Soviet policy, he stressed, could be altered only by Soviet authorities, not by any other national power.

His analysis became the new orthodoxy: A man of rarefied intelligence and strained sensibility, he was in many ways a latter-day Jamesian character. He was sensitive to the slightest rebuff, to minor breaches in etiquette, but, judging from his memoirs, when he returned to the United States from foreign service overseas inremained curiously untroubled by the economic depression, with its ravaging poverty, in his own nation.

In the diplomatic service, Kennan happily found what he termed "protective paternalism" and seemed to delight in the ordered tasks, the requirements of discipline, the acts of civic responsibility, the applications of intelligence, and the distance from the United States.

When the United States opened diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union inKennan became third secretary in Moscow.

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He later claimed that his four years in Moscow were "unavoidably a sort of liberal education in the horrors of Stalinism," and his hostility to Marxism and the Soviet system grew. They offended his taste, his sensibility, and his values. During those early years in the Soviet Union, he had a zest to understand, to penetrate, and to participate in Russian society.Kennan’s containment strategy began from a careful and sophisticated analysis of the Russian leadership, whom he considered to be both pragmatic and opportunistic, and motivated by an.

The Reagan Doctrine was a strategy orchestrated and implemented by the United States under the Reagan Administration to overwhelm the global influence of the Soviet Union in an attempt to end the Cold doctrine was the centerpiece of United States foreign policy from the early s until the end of the Cold War in Under the Reagan Doctrine, the United States provided overt and.

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