Ethics & International Affairs Volume 5 (1991): Articles: The New Containment Myth: Realism and the Anomaly of European Integration [Abstract]

Dec 2, 1991

Kegley, skeptical of the Western perception that Soviet surrender was proof of American superiority in the arms race and the reliance on NATO to "spend the Soviets into submission"—the new containment "myth"—analyzes the origins of the U.S. containment doctrine. He contrasts the harsher realist Hobbsian/Machiavellian views focusing on a stringent containment policy to those of Niebuhr, Morgenthau, and Kennan, who advocated a gradual opposition to the Soviets through patient political and diplomatic means. Kegley advocates Kennan's argument that the "inevitable triumph of Western liberalism" was certain and the failure of the communist regime was predetermined by its insulation. Empirical tests have not validated the extent of influence of NATO and practice of nuclear deterrence on the disintegration of the Soviet Union. Kegley argues for a focus on promoting the success of Russia while using the relative success of European integration as grounds to work within a transnational collaboration framework based on Kennan's initial recommendations.

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