MOUNTAINRUNNER ON KENNAN’S LESSONS
“For those who frame the modern conflict in Cold War images, it might be useful to remember the real designs and purposes of early Cold War policies. For those who think public diplomacy is simply a beauty contest to hopefully “win hearts”, should go back to the aggressive “five-dollar, five syllable” foundation of public diplomacy as a psychological struggle for minds and wills against an enemy who understood perception management.”
Kennan’s two volume memoirs make for some interesting reading, as does his work Russia and the West Under Lenin and Stalin, though it helps to have some of the period’s diplomatic historiography under your belt to better read between the lines of Kennan’s prose. If we have any George Kennan equivalents today, they are probably employed by the Defense Department or have been, which says a great deal about the intellectual and political decline of the State Department since Kennan’s time.