The Importance Of Kennan's Role In The Cold War

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Kennan 's 'long telegram ' and ideas on Containment are what is thought to have been a major factor in the transition from alliance to Cold War between the Soviets and the US. Below are outlined some of Kennan 's key points on the sources of Soviet Conduct such as Communist ideology and the potential ways for the US to deal with the Soviets, including the idea of 'containment '. One key point was that it was Kennan 's belief that in order to understand Soviet aims and conduct we must look at the Communist ideologies and beliefs. The Soviets strongly believed that Capitalism was an evil plague that threatened Communist ways of life and needed to be eventually overthrown. They thought of Capitalism as exploiting working class citizens, being inconsistent in its economic and political development and believed that its destruction would be inevitable. Alongside this the Kremlin expected complete discipline from the Communist Party. Because of this, Kennan suggested that any interaction between the West and the Soviets should be treated with extreme caution, considering the over riding goal of the Soviets to make the whole world communist. The US must see the Soviet Union as a rival…show more content…
Another factor that Kennan considered was Stalin 's dictatorship and what that meant for Soviet and US interactions. It was detrimental for Stalin, in order to justify his oppressive dictatorship, to stress the danger of abroad capitalism. Because of this, there needed to be an antagonist force of Capitalism. This leads on to Kennan 's idea of containment. Since the Soviets would not respond to negotiation with the west, they instead needed to be dealt with through the process of 'containment ' using antagonism and capability. The initial idea was that in order to monitor Soviet behavior and stop the world domination of Communism, the US had to try to 'contain ' the soviet forces. As long as the US provided a strong opposing counterpart to the Soviets the balance of power would

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