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This post is an attempt to clarify my past claims regarding Mr. Buzzanco's evidence. An important caveat is that my post is directed to a specific piece of evidence and the claim it supports. My focus is simply on what George Kennan said and how and why I think it differs from what Mr. Buzzanco says. I ask readers to check the full 18 page Kennan document rather than relying on the brief quotation or my post. Mr. Buzzanco wrote that, "...American policy makers were developing military strategies with an eye towards postwar economic hegemony and aggressively pursuing political arrangements that extended economic clout into all points along the globe while containing forces abroad and at home that might challenge American power and its military-industrial complex." (Buzzanco Diplomatic History p. 591) He supplies an abbreviated Kennan quotation that stresses the disparity between the US and other states to support his point. (592) What I hope to show is that his interpretation misses the point of Kennan's argument because it overlooks the qualifying context. I will argue that the context suggests that Kennan was arguing for a policy of *restraint*. Mr. Kennan in section 7, of 10, turns to the Far East. This is where my puzzlement with Mr. Buzzanco's quotation began. "My main impression with regard to the position of this Government with regard to the Far East is that we are greatly over-extended in our whole thinking about what we can accomplish, and should try to accomplish, in that area...It is urgently necessary that we recognize our own limitations as a moral and ideological force among the Asiatic people. (pp 523-524) I suggest that one does not discuss being overextended if one is suggesting a policy of aggressiveness. Leaders raise concerns about when they want to suggest restraint. He continues by discussing why the United State's political philosophy is not applicable to the region. He sums it up p. 524 "This being the case, we must be very careful when we speak of exercising "leadership" in Asia. We are deceiving ourselves and others when we presented to have the answers to the problems which agitate many of theses Asiatic peoples." He then continues on this thought, the need to avoid attempting to exercise "leadership", with the following qualification. One should note that in this section Kennan only puts quotation marks around two items. "Leadership" and "to be liked". I think these put an emphasis on the concerns about doing something altruistic with the US' power in the mistaken belief that such acts will remove "envy and resentment". "Furthermore, we have about 50 % of the world's wealth but only 6.3 % of the population. This disparity is particularly great as between ourselves and the people of Asia. In this situation, we cannot fail to be the object of envy and resentment. Our real task in the coming period is to devise a patter of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity without positive detriment to our national security. To do so, we will have to dispense with all sentimentality and day-dreaming; and our attention will have to be concentrated everywhere on our immediate national objectives. We need not deceive ourselves that we can afford today the luxury of altruism and world benefaction." I would suggest that the emphasis is not solely on economic disparity as a form of hegemony, but on disparity as a basis for envy and resentment. If the US meddles in the region its wealth and power will be a problem because the disparity will exist no matter what it does. Thus, as Kennan continues, the United States should simply keep from intervening until the region is ready. I think the next paragraph, which immediately follows, spells this out clearly. "For these reasons [the immediately preceding quotation], we must observe great restraint in our attitude towards the Far Eastern areas. The peoples of Asia and of the Pacific area are going to go ahead, whatever we do, with the development of their political forms and mutual interrelationships in their own way. This process cannot be a liberal or peaceful one." Kennan is arguing for restraint, not aggressive pursuit of political arrangements. One could argue that Kennan is suggesting that the US cut its losses and not get involved in the region because it is lost no matter what it does. Mr. Buzzanco cites Kennan to support his claim that the United States was pursuing an aggressive policy of political arrangements and extending economic clout. If this is the case, why not mention that Kennan says we should take a policy of restraint? Restraint and aggression are not the same thing. Kennan continues a few sentences later by developing what he means by a policy of restraint regarding Asia. p. 524-525 "All of the Asiatic peoples are faced with the necessity for evolving new forms of life to confirm to the impact of modern technology. This process of adaptations will also be long and violent. It is not only possible, but probable, that in the course of this process many peoples will fall, for varying periods, under the influences of Moscow, whose ideology has a greater lure for such peoples, and probably greater reality, than anything we could oppose to it. All this, too, is probably unavoidable; and we could not hope to combat it without the diversion of a far greater portion of our national effort than our people would ever willingly concede to such a purpose." Kennan argues that the region will be lost to Moscow no matter what the US does. Thus the need for restraint. This paragraph modifies the one used by Mr. Buzzanco and it suggests that the US should be acting, not aggressively, but with restraint. "In the face of this situation we would be better off to dispense now with a number of the concepts which have underlined our thinking with regard to the Far East. We should dispense with the aspiration to "be liked" or to be regarded as the repository of a high minded international altruism [One sentence cut]...We should cease to talk about vague and--for the Far East--unreal objectives such as human rights, the raising of the living standards, and democratization. The day is not far off when we are going to have to deal in straight power concepts. The less we are then hampered by idealistic slogans, the better. We should recognized that our influence in the Far Eastern area in the coming period is going to be primarily military and economic. We should make a careful study to see what parts of the Pacific and Far Eastern world are absolutely vital to our security, and we should concentrate our policy on seeing to it that those areas remaining in hand which we control or rely on. .... It is my own guess....that Japan and the Philippines will be found to be the corner-stones of such a Pacific security system and that if we can contrive to retain effective control over these areas there can be no serious threat to our security from the East within our time. Only when we have assured this first objective, can we allow ourselves the luxury of going farther afield in our thinking and our planning." P. 525 The first priority is security. Moreover, his quotation on page 524 is directed in part, as can be seen from the context, against those who would spend the US' wealth on altruistic goals or goals designed to support the US' "leadership" or "to be liked" and both will cause envy and resentment. The US must spend its wealth on its own security before it can worry about anyone else. Kennan continues to suggest a policy of restraint when he suggests that the US cut its losses in China and pull back to Japan and the Philippines. p. 525 "If these basic concepts are accepted, then our objectives for the immediate coming period should be: a)liquidate as rapidly as possible our unsound commitments in China and to recover, vis-a-vis that country, a position of detachment and freedom of action;......" I do not see this as an aggressive policy. An aggressive policy would be to suggest that the US push ahead with support for China. I never understood retreat to be an aggressive policy. In the conclusion, Mr. Kennan makes one more point regarding the US' long term position in the Far East. p. 529 "In the Far East, our position is not bad;....But our present controls are temporary ones which cannot long endure, and we have not yet worked out realistic plans for replacing them with a permanent structure." In other words, the US had not yet, according to Kennan, developed what Mr. Buzzanco called "military strategies with an eye toward postwar economic hegemony and aggressively pursuing political arrangements that extended economic clout into all points along the globe..." I have cited Kennan extensively so that readers can make their own judgement. As I said in my original post, I think the quotation that Mr. Buzzanco uses does not support his claim. I hope that readers can see the point regarding the qualifying context. Lawrence Serewicz