The Cold War : American Foreign Policy

1476 WordsMar 23, 20176 Pages
George Kennan, compared to other writers which have been discussed in this class takes a different approach to the Cold War through the lens of American foreign policy following World War Two in his article, “After the Cold War: American Foreign Policy in the 1970s.” Kennan, unlike Leffler, Schlesinger, and Brzezinski, believes that the battle between the two nations over hegemony is beyond comparison to the dangers which threaten all of humanity. The threats Kennan provides are environmental, the unstable nature of the United Nations, and nuclear weapons. He provides a critical analysis of American foreign policy following WWII, and where the U.S. should go leading into the future. Kennan writes about the Cold War less as a historical…show more content…
Leffler would agree that the initiative taken by U.S. expansionism in order to allow for more far reaching use of the bomb startled the international community. The difference between Leffler and Kennan is that Kennan justifies the aggressive policies of the U.S. in Eastern Europe and Eurasia, whereas Leffler is much more uncertain about the decision personally. Both men attribute U.S. intervention in Europe and Eurasia to the fear of the spread of communism. However, in regards to the U.S. inciting enough fear in the Soviet Union to have caused the Cold War I cannot say because Kennan does not address the issue. After establishing the mindset which led to the policies used during the Cold War, Kennan moves to a critical analysis of U.S. foreign policy following WWII and where U.S. commitments should remain or retract. He once again brings back one of the major concerns of policy makers following WWII, how does the U.S. fill the power vacuum left behind in Japan and Germany before the Soviets gain a foot hold? To Kennan, this commitment has deteriorated drastically since 1949, even claiming that the power gap has been filled due to Soviet failure. He uses the Soviet’s failure during the Berlin Blockade in 1949 as a clear indicator of their incompetence to hold those strategic locations. While Kennan does claim that the Soviet Union was not a threat to American interests in Eastern Europe, he notes that
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