Is Cold War strategy relevant to dealing with Russia today?

February 28th, 2014
Amid the violence and upheaval in the Ukraine and the Russian response, a debate has broken out in Washington about the relevance of Cold War strategy. Whether it still should be relevant to viewing Russian actions and geopolitics?

It would be interesting to know what George Kennan might think about it.  He was after all, the architect of America's cold war policy of containment and perhaps our greatest political and diplomatic strategist with respect to the Russia and the former Soviet Empire.  

He was both a man of letters and a man of action. But his views, on domestic politics, and on modernity were far less prescient and far out of step with the changes taking place in America.  In short, he was a complex man, the likes of which we seldom see in public life today.

He also kept a diary for almost 90 of this 101 years.  University of Connecticut  historian Frank Costigliola has edited those diaries into The Kennan Diaries.

My conversation with Frank Costigliola: