Long Telegram and the Novikov Telegram

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Long Telegram and the Novikov Telegram

The single document that best illustrated American anti-communism and general suspicion of Soviet aspirations was George Kennan's famous Long Telegram of 1946. The Long Telegram was perhaps the most cited and most influential statement of the early years of the Cold War. George Kennan had been an American diplomat on the Soviet front, beginning his career as an observer of the aftermath of the Russian Civil War. He witnessed collectivization and the terror from close range and sent his telegram after another two years' service in Moscow from 1944 to 1946 as chief of mission and Ambassador Averell Harriman's consultant. In 1946, Kennan was 44 years old, fluent in the Russian language and its affairs, and decidedly anti-communist. The essence of Kennan's telegram was published in Foreign Affairs in 1947 as The Sources of Soviet Conduct and circulated everywhere. The article was signed by "X" although everyone in the know knew that authorship was Kennan's. For Kennan, the Cold War gave the United States its historic opportunity to assume leadership of what would eventually be described as the "free world." Kennan hated Communism and the Soviet government. However, he had lived in Moscow since 1933 and knew what he was talking about. His telegram was re-written as a paper entitled: The Sources of Soviet Conduct, and read by many Americans. It formed the basis of American policy towards Russia for the next quarter of a century.

His analysis of the Soviet position focused on…
(1) Basic features of post-war Soviet outlook.
(2) Background of this outlook
(3) Its projection in practical policy on official level.
(4) Its projection on unofficial level.
(5) Practical deductions from standpoint of US policy.

The Soviet ambassador in Washington, Nikolai Novikov, drafted Novikov telegram just afew months after the Long Telegram. Drafted in September 1946, He stressed the dangers of possible U.S. economic and military...
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