It's time to kickoff this year's book-a-week club. The theme for 2017 will be global changes. We will look at histories of changes in the international system — in the way thoughts have changed; in the way norms have changed; in the way power and powers have changed; in the way many other things have caused changes in the world. One constant in our world — one thing that never changes — is change itself. Later this week I will post the mostly-full list of each month's topics and some choices to choose during those months. Just to get us started on this first week, let us begin with the Cold War. Now, this is not a book. Instead, I want to recommend taking a look at four critical documents between 1946 and 1953 that set the country and the world on a course to compete in the contemporary environment. The question to ask while reading these is, are we coming full circle?
22 February 1946, Telegram 8965, Moscow via War, from George Kennan to George Marshall (aka the “Long Telegram”): https://www.trumanlibrary.org/whistlestop/study_collections/coldwar/documents/pdf/6-6.pdf
July 1947, The Sources of Soviet Conduct, by “X”: https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/russian-federation/1947-07-01/sources-soviet-conduct (subscription service) See also: https://shafr.org/teaching/classroom-documents/the-x-article
12 April 1950, Report to the National Security Council – NSC 68, approved by Harry Truman: https://www.trumanlibrary.org/whistlestop/study_collections/coldwar/documents/pdf/10-1.pdf
30 October 1953, Report to the National Security Council – NSC 162/2, approved by Dwight Eisenhower: https://fas.org/irp/offdocs/nsc-hst/nsc-162-2.pdf