It is clear that the main element of any United States policy toward the Soviet Union must be that of a long-term, patient but firm and vigilant containment of Russian expansive tendencies – Anonymous author – “X”
Those fateful words, written in 1947, launched the United States into the Cold War and forever changed how the country viewed itself and pushed its agenda throughout the world. According to Todd S. Purdum of Vanity Fair, “X”, later revealed as George F. Kennan, “had intended to argue for political containment of Soviet ambitions”.
We all know today that the United States pursued much more than political containment. George Kennan passed away in 2005 and was able to witness the transformation of the United States from a relatively weak and isolated country into a dominant super-power, obsessed with national security.
I highly recommend reading Mr. Purdum’s article, One Nation, Under Arms. It’s a fascinating look into how one of the Cold War’s main architects spent the better part of his remaining years expressing regret that his words were used to warp our country into something the founding fathers would not recognize. As with most Vanity Fair articles, it’s long and detailed, but very worth your time.