George Kennan, the man whose strategy for containing Communism shaped much of the post-war world, has died.
“George F. Kennan, the American diplomat who did more than any other envoy of his generation to shape United States policy during the cold war, died on Thursday night in Princeton, N.J. He was 101.
Mr. Kennan was the man to whom the White House and the Pentagon turned when they sought to understand the Soviet Union after World War II. He conceived the cold-war policy of containment, the idea that the United States should stop the global spread of Communism by diplomacy, politics, and covert action – by any means short of war.
As the State Department’s first policy planning chief in the late 1940’s, serving Secretary of State George C. Marshall, Mr. Kennan was an intellectual architect of the Marshall Plan, which sent billions of dollars of American aid to nations devastated by World War II. At the same time, he conceived a secret ‘political warfare’ unit that aimed to roll back Communism, not merely contain it. His brainchild became the covert-operations directorate of the Central Intelligence Agency.”