The Dark Heart of Asia: George Kennan and America’s Pivot to Japan in 1948

In this week’s episode Newsbud’s Asia Brief with Peter Lee: The Dark Heart of Asia: George Kennan and America’s Pivot to Japan in 1948 looks at a crucial decision made by US planners:  To close the books on World War II and place America’s Asian bets on Japan as the keystone of an anti-Communist security system in the Western Pacific.  It’s a decision that assured the future of Japan…and shaped and shattered the lives of millions.

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Show Notes

Report by the Director of the Policy Planning Staff (Kennan)

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  1. Wow. This is masterful, Peter. The implications of this background is staggering–in terms of Asia, as you make clear. But it also appears to have “prototyped” and proven the feasibility of establishing permanent military bases in foreign countries, justified on the necessity of “Soviet/communist containment”. Latin America comes to mind, for example.

    Am I reading too much into Kennan’s apparent ongoing influence on US foreign policy? It seems that the strategies he advocated are still in use in the US State Department. I wonder if Kennan influenced Kissinger.

  2. thomasotoole says:

    Thank you!

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