Legacy of American Cold War Containment Strategy

Legacy of American Cold War Containment Strategy

At the dawn of the Cold War, an obscure American diplomat named George Kennan designed a strategy of containment to keep Soviet ambitions in check. Guest host, Steve Roberts, and his panel discuss the imperfect implementation of that plan and how it shapes U. S. policy today.

After the Second World War, America and its allies needed a new plan to deal with the Soviet Union. They saw two choices ahead – another world war or appeasement. A third option came from an obscure U.S. diplomat named George Kennan. His strategy to confine Russian expansion would define America’s relationship with the Soviet Union for nearly half a century. But Kennan would come to regret the policy that made him the most influential diplomat of the Cold War. It led to conflicts in Korea and Vietnam and even to U.S. entanglements in Iraq and Afghanistan. The legacy of America’s Cold War containment strategy.


Todd Purdum

national editor, "Vanity Fair"

John Lewis Gaddis

Professor of History, Yale University and author of "George F. Kennan: An American Life"

Susan Glasser

editor-in-chief, Foreign Policy.

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