[PEN-L:1593] George Kennan

Rosser Jr, John Barkley rosserjb at jmu.edu
Thu Dec 17 12:05:40 PST 1998

Kennan claims that his views have remained consistent throughout. He claims that in his famous "X" article in Foreign Affairs that called for containment of the USSR he argued that if contained, it would destroy itself eventually. He claims to have been vindicated.

Maybe Brad's sister has inside info about Kennan, but I have seen no denial of his claim to have opposed US development of thermonuclear weapons in 1949, hardly a "hawkish" position. Barkley Rosser On Thu, 17 Dec 1998 05:46:52 -0800 Brad De Long <delong at econ.Berkeley.EDU> wrote:

> >Kennan was also the one who later lamented that " the image of a Stalinist
> >Russia poised and yearning to attack the West, and deterred only by
> >(America's) possession of atomic weapons, was largely a creation of the
> >Western imagination." He cautioned against "demonizing the adversary,
> >overestimating enemy strength and overmilitarizing the Western response." He
> >goes on to say that ". . . the West did not . . . win the Cold War through
> >geopolitical containment and military deterrence ..." or by " . . . the
> >Reagan military buildup . . . Instead 'victory' came when a new generation of
> >Soviet leaders realized how badly their system at home and their policies
> >abroad had failed." He doesn't sound like too much of a hawk to me.
> >
> >Damon
> Kennan... shifts over time. "Strong views weakly held," as my sister says...
> Brad DeLong

-- Rosser Jr, John Barkley rosserjb at jmu.edu

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