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May 1947 he left the war college to become the first Policy Planning Staffs director.

The Staff
was created by George C. Marshall, after he became Secretary of State earlier that year.
In the summer of 1947 he published an article called The Sources of Soviet Conduct, article that
introduced the term containment.
In 1948 he pointed out two main objectives of the foreign policy:

To protect the security of the nation

To advance the welfare of its people

He described the peoples attempt to determine exactly the way in which the national security
can be enhanced through two approaches:

The universalistic approach which implied that all the countries should abide by the
same standard rules of behavior, thus forcing them to recede behind the protecting curtain
of accepted legal restraints
This approach considered the possibility of harmony in international affairs, which would
have been achieved through the creation of entities such as The League of Nations or the
United Nations.
He considers it to be an inappropriate framework for the American interests, because the
most important characteristic of the international environment was its diversity, not its
Another aspect he disagreed with was the one of elimination of armed conflict from
international life.
The particularized approach implied that the content is more important than the
form; it also states that the thirst for power among the countries is so powerful, that it
cannot be controlled by anything but counter force
He also mentions here that this approach does not reject the idea of governments joining
with each other in order to preserve world order, the distinction here being that they
would get together based upon real community of interest and not upon the formalism of
universal international law or organization.

He considered that national security could be attained through a careful balancing of powers.
From this argument he raised several issues that followed logically his ideas.
A first statement was that not all parts of the world are equally vital to the US. He described
these areas as places which should not fall into hands hostile to the US, such areas including:

The nations and territories of the Atlantic community (Canada, Greenland, Iceland, the
British Isles, Morocco, and the countries on the west coast of Africa
The Mediterranean and the Middle East countries
Japan and Philippines

He later defined the five major centers of industrial and military power in the world, which are
relevant to the national security: US. Great Britain, Germany and Central Europe, the Soviet
Union, and Japan. He stated that because the industrial military power was the most dangerous
there could be, there should be an emphasis placed on keeping it under control. Because the
capabilities are limited, priorities of interest should be established, and there should be certain
categories of needs which will not be as important as others.
A second point of his argument was that the internal organization of a state was not the most
important aspect for the American foreign policy, and that interference in another countrys
affairs should be justified.
A third corollary was that there should be no conflict between the demands of security and those
of principle, and that this could be achieved through the concept of the balance of powers.
Even though he had reservations regarding the collaboration with the Soviet Union, he believed
it to be necessary in order to defeat the Nazi Germany. He stated that after the victory against
Germany, the Soviet Union was placed in a dominant position throughout Eastern Europe and
parts of East Asia, and that together with the other communist parties around the world, gave the
Russians control of two or more world power centers which the exactly what the war meant to
prevent from happening.
The ideology that the Russians are destined to spread to the utmost limits of the earth offered a
pretense to impose several functions, among them that of legitimizing an illegitimate
government, or justifying the repression with which some Soviet leaders ruled.
Kennan believed that this ideology, reinforced by Marx and Lenin, was so vague that it required
a third party to apply it in this case the government.
From these points emerges the fact that this ideology was more a justification of certain actions
rather than a guide to action. Another aspect that follows from this is that the objective of
containment was that of limiting the expansion of the Soviet Union, since it represented a threat
to the entire world.
Kennan believed that the policy of containment could have easily been effective, since Stalin had
different views than Hitler, and he sought to gain power through political means rather than
military. The danger laid rather in the fact that Western Europe and Japan would be so
demoralized that they will lose their self confidence and become vulnerable against the
communist party, leading to the Russians controlling two of the five centers of industrial power.
From this he concluded that the policy of containment should be aimed at the psychological
effect of the communist party, rather that at its military power.
Kennans goal was that of producing certain attitudes that would facilitate the emergence of an
international order more favorable to the USs interests, and to this end, he had 3 objectives:

Restoration of the balance of power through the encouragement of self-confidence

Reduction of the Soviet Unions ability to project influence beyond its borders
Modification of the Soviet concept of international relations

Because many countries were still recovering after the effects of the war, Kennan believed that
restoring the balance of power in Europe and Asia
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