POL 2103: Lecture #5 Sept 20 2012
Realism and the Cold War
George Kennan 19042005
one of the main architects of the Cold War
“The less we are then hampered by idealistic slogans, the better.”
In the late 1940s his writings inspired Truman doctrine and the US foreign policy of “containing” the Soviet
Union thrusting him into a lifelong role as a leading authority on the Cold War
His long telegram from Moscow in 1946 and the article “the sources of the Soviet Conduct” argued that the
soviet regime was inherently expansionist and that its influence had to be contained in areas of vital
strategic importance to the United States
It is clear that the US cannot expect in foreseeable future to enjoy political intimacy with the Soviet regime.
It must continue to regard the soviet union as a rival, not a partner in the political arena. It must continue to
expect that soviet policies will reflect no abstract love of peace and stability, no real faith.
Harry S. Truman 18841972 33 president of US (19451953)
“If we see that Germany is winning we ought Russia and if Russia is winning we ought to help Germany,
and that way let them kill as many as possible.” realist approach: don’t trust your allies.
The very existence of the Greek state is today threatened by the terrorist activities of several thousand
armed men, led by communists
Meanwhile the Greek govt is unable to cope with the situation. The Greek army is small and poorly
equipped. It need supplies and equipment if it is to restore authority of the govt throughout Greek territory.
Greece must have assistance
The British govt which has been helping Greece can give no further financial or economic aid
End of Pax Britannica and start of Pax Americana
Undermine the foundations of international peace and hence th security of the United States
Link between allies security an