Doctrine & Policies Early Cold War

Doctrine & Policies Early Cold War - Policies and...

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Policies and Doctrinces of the Early Cold War Containment: The centerpiece of American foreign policy for over 40 years after the Cold War. The central premise of containment was that the U.S. needed to engage in a long-term strategy to contain the expansion of the Soviet Union and the spread of communism. This strategy dismissed the idea of compromise with the Soviets despite the two countries’ World War II alliance and also downplayed any short-term military defeat of the Soviet Union. George Kennan and the Origins of Containment: Containment originated with the ideas of George Kennan, a State Department official stationed in Moscow who wrote an influential dispatch to the State Department known as the “long telegram” in 1946 and a subsequent article under the pseudonym “X” in Foreign Affairs (1947). Kennan’s View of the Soviet Threat: Kennan outlined the nature of the Soviet threat and offered a strategy for countering that threat that became the basis of containment. Kennan argued that the Soviet Union would be persistently antagonistic toward the United States because of its Marxist-Leninist ideology and its need for an external enemy. This was very important because there were still many within the U.S. government who held out hope of some form of cooperative settlement with the Soviets based on the previous World War II alliance. Kennan also argued that Soviet behavior had a dual nature – the country would be expansionary but
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