ABSTRACT

One person, a frail and insecure vessel, created the strategy that defeated—annihilated—the Soviet Union and established the United States as the one global superpower, the American empire. The strategy is expressed in the word "containment," as George Frost Kennan conceived it. He put its pure theory in the famous long—8,000 words —telegram from Moscow, where he was chargé d'affaires, on February 22, 1946. He later defined it in an article, written in the United States, in the publication Foreign Affairs of July 1947. The article put it: "[T]he main element of any United States policy toward the Soviet Union must be that of the long-term, patient but firm and vigilant containment of Russian expansive tendencies." 1 Accurately prophetic, Kennan promised that containment would lead to "either the break-up or gradual mellowing of Soviet power." He proposed and shaped all but one of the main policy elements that immediately transformed thought into historic action. Indeed the speed of it appalled him and he resisted inserting the last component of the containment action.