Strategies of Containment: A Critical Appraisal of Postwar American National Security Policy

By John Lewis Gaddis | Go to book overview
Save to active project

CHAPTER
TWO
George F. Kennan
and the Strategy of Containment

Kennan's abrupt transition from career diplomat to Cold War strategist grew out of more than just an "outrageous encumberment of the telegraphic process." 1 By the time the "long telegram" had won him the reputation of being the foremost Soviet expert within the government, there was already present in his writing and thinking a depth of strategic vision—that knack for seeing relationships between objectives and capabilities, aspirations and interests, long-term and short-term priorities— rarely found in harried bureaucracies. One suspects it was this quality that commended him to Secretary of the Navy James V. Forrestal, a man of similar concerns, as the ideal "deputy for foreign affairs" at the newly established National War College in Washington, the nation's first institution devoted to the study of political-military affairs at the highest level. Kennan's success there in turn attracted the attention of George C. Marshall, who, upon becoming Secretary of State early in 1947, resolved to impart greater coherence to American diplomacy by organizing a "Policy Planning Staff," charged with "formulating and developing ... long‐ term programs for the achievement of U.S. foreign policy objectives." In May of that year, Kennan left the war college to become the staff's first director. 2 His place in Washington was by that time unique: he alone among top officials combined knowledge and experience in Soviet affairs, exposure to what would later be called "national security" studies, and a position of responsibility from which to make recommendations for action.

In the summer of 1947, Kennan inadvertently added fame or notoriety to this list, depending on one's point of view, with the publication in

-25-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Strategies of Containment: A Critical Appraisal of Postwar American National Security Policy
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 432

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?