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The term containment describes the foreign policy strategy pursued by the United States after the Second World War The term was introduced into the public debate by George F Kennan a diplomat and US State Department adviser on Soviet affairs In his famous anonymous X-article Kennan suggested a long-term patient but firm and vigilant containment of Russian expansive tendencies The Strategy of Containment found its first application in the Truman Doctrine of 1947 which guaranteed immediate economic and military aid to Greece and Turkey John Lewis Gaddis has argued that all post-1945 US foreign policy doctrines and concepts were in some way Strategies of Containment How was the concept of containment developed you may ask For Kennan containment was a political concept As a strategy containment sought to achieve three goals the restoration of the balance of power in Europe the curtailment of Soviet power projection and the modification of the Soviet conception of international relations The first goal of the containment theory was restoration of the balance of power According to Kennan the ultimate goal of US foreign policy should not be the division of the world into Soviet and American spheres of influences Rather US foreign policy should aid the establishment of independent centers of power in Europe and Asia and help encourage self-confidence in nations threatened by Soviet expansionism In order to aid the establishment of diverse concentrations of power Kennan believed it was vital to use restraint For that purpose he suggested a long-term economic aid program The aid program should treat geographical regions as a whole and aid recipients should be responsible for the planning The US should only minimally interfere in internal affairs and should help specifically those that were willing to help themselves In order to avoid overexertion the US should concentrate on the vital but vulnerable industrial centers in Western Europe and Japan and only in a second step consider island strongholds such as Okinawa and Philippines
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