Containment Policy. Speaks of George Kennan

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As promulgated in 1947 by one of its chief architects, George Kennan, the policy of containment fashioned a strategy to deal with the implacable challenge posed by Soviet Communists (Kennan, 582). Because of their ideology and history, the Soviets were held to be dangerous and thus their expansion must be countered by the West. To deal with the Soviet threat, Kennan called for a long-term and vigilant containment of Russian expansive tendencies (Kennan, 575). Although containment policy was widely accepted at its point of conception, the policy is in fact logically flawed. If the Soviet system really was a flawed as theorists such as Kennan surmised, then the best policy would have been not to contain it, but to give it enough rope - to let it expand until it expand until it reaches the point of terminal overstretch. Containment may have actually lengthened the Cold War by delaying the climax.

Thus it may not be sound to wallow in self-congratulation in the wake of the Cold War, and to conclude that we won. Rather it would be much more sensible to conclude that the Soviet Union lost : almost all of the calamities that brought it to its desperate condition and compelled it to abandon its expansionary ideology were self-induced.

It is clear that the major problem for the Soviet Union was the staggering failure of its bureaucratic and economic system. Based on some utopian notions that sought to repeal human greed and to replace the price system with managed arrangements, the Soviets eventually invented an economic and social system that stifled initiative and enshrined inefficiency. Westerners, however, can take little credit for creating this dilemma. They tried to exacerbate it with various trade policies, but the basic problem was fabricated by the Soviets themselves. Indeed, if...