While some were considering military action against an expansionist USSR, George Kennan convinced the Truman Administration there was a better strategy.
According to Associate Professor Stephen Hoadley, George Kennan stands second only to Henry Kissinger as one of the most influential and respected American geopolitical thinkers of the mid-20th century. George Kennan was a US ambassador to the USSR and was what Hoadley calls ‘one of America’s few true Soviet experts’ In 1946, Kennan drafted his ‘long telegram’ to Washington, where he wrote to the US Secretary of State with a lengthy analysis of Soviet policy. He argued that Soviet leaders would relentlessly pursue expansionist policies to retain power and fulfil their communist dogma, and they would use everything at their disposal to achieve this. Kennan wrote that US policy towards the Soviet Union:
‘must be that of a long-term, patient but firm and vigilant containment of Russian expansive tendencies’. See Kennan and Containment, 1947
Learn more about George Kennan’s 1946 long telegram providing the US with guidance on how best to deal with the then Soviet Unio
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