X Article

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George F. Kennan in 1947, the year the X Article was published.

The X Article, formally titled The Sources of Soviet Conduct, was published in Foreign Affairs magazine in July 1947. The article
was written by George F. Kennan, the Deputy Chief of Mission of the United States to the USSR, from 1944 to 1946,
under ambassador W. Averell Harriman.

1 Background

2 The Long Telegram

3 The Clifford-Elsey Report

4 Origin of the article

5 See also

6 References

In February 1946.S.7 External links [edit]Background G. Dept will bear with me if I submit in answer to this question five parts. if they deserve attention at all.S. Among its most-remembered parts was that while Soviet power was impervious to the logic of reason. F. seem to me to deserve it at once. Kennan wrote the Long Telegram outlining his opinions and views of the Soviets.13 involves questions so intricate.[1] Kennan described dealing with Soviet Communism as “undoubtedly greatest task our diplomacy has ever faced and probably greatest it will ever have to face”. Embassy in Moscow as minister-counselorsince 1944. the mood within the U.. In reply. but non-communist. and so important to analysis of our international environment that I cannot compress answers into single brief message without yielding to what I feel would be a dangerous degree of oversimplification. it arrived in Washington on February 22. the United States Treasury asked the U. Although highly critical of the Soviet system. . but questions involved are of such urgent importance. Kennan was profoundly aware of the matters at stake.S. so strange to our form of thought. State Department was friendship towards the Soviets. I hope. so delicate. Kennan had been stationed at the U.S. Treasury Department. his reply to the U. groups in other countries as an even worse enemy of itself than the capitalist ones. its preface says: Answer to Dept’s 284. it was highly sensitive to the logic of force.I apologize in advance for this burdening of telegraphic channel. since they were an important ally in the war against Nazi Germany. In the first two sections.  The USSR viewed left-wing. particularly in view of recent events. [edit]The Long Telegram Wikisource has original text related to this article: The Long Telegram In writing the Long Telegram. Feb. therefore. Embassy in Moscow why the Soviets were not supporting the newlycreated World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. 1946. that our answers to them. he posited concepts that became the foundation of American Cold War policy:  The USSR perceived itself at perpetual war with capitalism. 3..

Kennan advocated sound appraisal. proposing for other nations a positive picture of the world the U. War. wanted “to be ready to reveal to the whole world the full truth about the Russian failure to honor agreements. would like to see. and Justice. In Section Five.S. Kennan exposited Soviet weaknesses and proposed U. According to Kennan. solutions of the internal problems of U.  The Soviet government's structure prohibited objective or accurate pictures of internal and external reality.S. that the Soviets were weak. Capitalism was a menace to the ideals of socialism. “my conviction that problem is within our power to solve— and that without recourse to any general military conflict. and faith in the superiority of the Western way of life over the collective ideals of Soviet Communists.  Soviet aggression was fundamentally not aligned with the views of the Russian people or with economic reality. The pair solicited the input of senior officials in the Departments of State. and that Soviet propaganda was primarily negative and destructive. the Soviet Union did not see the possibility for long-term peaceful coexistence with the capitalist world.S. President Truman enlisted the services of one of his senior advisers. Clifford set out to write a report that would take the analysis of the Long Telegram and translate it into concrete policy recommendations. Clark Clifford. [edit]The Clifford-Elsey Report In July 1946. to prepare a report on Soviet relations that would provide detail on Soviet disregard for post-war agreements. The President.” He argued that the Soviet Union would be sensitive to force. and utilized the expertise of George Kennan and Charles Bohlen in writing their report. that the Soviets were vulnerable to internal instability. public education.”[2] With the assistance of George Elsey. and capitalists could not be trusted or allowed to influence the Soviet people. and the Central Intelligence Group. but rooted in historic Russian nationalism and neurosis. . It was its ever-present aim to advance the socialist cause. the Joint Chiefs of Staff. but their eyes and ears were always open for the opportunity to take advantage of “diseased tissue” anywhere in the world. stating that despite the great challenge. Outright conflict was never considered a desirable avenue for the propagation of the Soviet cause. society. who was growing frustrated by Soviet actions. strategy. compared to the united Western world. The USSR would use controllable Marxists in the capitalist world as allies.

The Clifford-Elsey Report took those facts and interpreted how they affected the world and what the US should do about it. was presented solely to the President on September 24.”[4][5] . Kennan obtained permission from Forrestal to publish the article under the pseudonym “X”. 1946.we’d have the most serious situation on our hands that has yet occurred in my Administration. but on the urging of Hamilton Fish Armstrong. President Truman ordered that all copies of the report be delivered to him because the report was of great value to him “but if it leaked. insight into existing agreements. detail on Soviet violations of agreements with the United States. It also stressed the importance of a well-informed public because “only a well-informed public will support the stern policies which Soviet activities make imperative”. Marshall. and it did not circulate beyond his desk. The X Article took the information presented in the two prior reports and constructed a road map for the Cold War.[4] When published.[2] The report provided Truman with the background of wartime relations with the Soviet Union. editor of Foreign Affairs. The article proved to be the public face of American foreign policy in the Cold War — even though Kennan himself has noted that he felt that he was misunderstood — in the statement that the “United States policy toward the Soviet Union must be that of a long-term. questioned the approval for the publication. the connection to official policy was made and some high ranking officials. When he wrote the Long Telegram. and most important. the article was not intended to be a statement of the government’s official views of the Soviet situation. entitled American Relations with the Soviet Union.. it would blow the roof off the White House. patient but firm and vigilant containment of Russian expansive tendencies.[3] The first mention of the concept of “restraining and confining” the Soviet influence appeared in the Clifford-Elsey Report. [edit]Origin of the article The Sources of Soviet Conduct began as a private report prepared for Secretary of Defense James Forrestal in January 1947. Both his writing of the Long Telegram and his input into the Clifford-Elsey Report factored into the content of the article.[4] It was never intended as a public document.The final report.” The report would remain top secret and un-circulated until it appeared in Arthur Krock’s Memoirs in 1968. it was a review of the facts of how the Soviet Union saw the world. But when it was revealed that the author was George Kennan. including Secretary of State George C.[4][5] Kennan was heavily involved in the evolution of US policy toward the Soviet Union following World War II.. In fact.

Telegram. Memoirs. Kennan. 6. no. ^ a b Clark M. 1991). 2. Elsey Papers. no. ^ Keene. Counsel to the President: A Memoir (New York: Random House. [edit]External links Wikisource has original text related to this article: The Sources of Soviet Conduct  "The Sources of Soviet Conduct" . Truman Administration File. ^ Clifford-Elsey Report. George Kennan to George Marshall February 22. 2008. 5. Retrieved 27 June 2011. ^ a b c d George F. even within the government. Brown. 7 (1972): 33. ^ Charles Gati. He admitted that there were serious deficiencies in the article and he was afflicted with ulcers over the response that the article received. Clifford and Richard C. 1925–1950 (Boston: Little. Much of the meaning that was interpreted from the article.” Foreign Policy. Y. Holbrooke. George. Accessed February 18. 1946. also know as the Y Article. 3. 1967). “The Sources of Soviet Conduct. Harry S.[6] [edit]See  also Cordon sanitaire (French historian André Fontaine argued that the Cold War had started immediately after the 1917 October Revolution)  A National Strategic Narrative by Mr. 354– 356. which was inspired by the X Article [edit]References 1. "Photocopy of Long Telegram—Truman Library". “What Containment Meant. was not the true meaning that Kennan intended. ^ a b X. 4 (1947): 566–582.” Foreign Affairs 25. 4.This policy was misinterpreted to mean that the US would contain the Soviet Union globally.

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