O que é este blog?

Este blog trata basicamente de ideias, se possível inteligentes, para pessoas inteligentes. Ele também se ocupa de ideias aplicadas à política, em especial à política econômica. Ele constitui uma tentativa de manter um pensamento crítico e independente sobre livros, sobre questões culturais em geral, focando numa discussão bem informada sobre temas de relações internacionais e de política externa do Brasil. Para meus livros e ensaios ver o website: www.pralmeida.org. Para a maior parte de meus textos, ver minha página na plataforma Academia.edu, link: https://itamaraty.academia.edu/PauloRobertodeAlmeida;

Meu Twitter: https://twitter.com/PauloAlmeida53

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/paulobooks

terça-feira, 31 de dezembro de 2019

Um debate sobre o papel de Kennan na doutrina da Guerra Fria - W. Gregory Perett

William D. Leahy as the father of containment

1) Comments, in lieu of Book review, by W. Gregory Perett
From: W. Gregory Perett, George Washington University
December 31, 2019, in H-Diplo

I am new to H Diplo. A couple of my colleagues at George Washington University recommended it as the most effective way to reach those interested in diplomatic history regarding a questionable representation of the role of George Kennan in post-World War II diplomacy.
The book in question is Phillips Payson O’Brien's _The Second Most Powerful Man in the World: The Life of Admiral William D. Leahy, Roosevelt’s Chief of Staff_ (Penguin, 2019).
The author makes a good case for Leahy’s influential role, but does so to the exclusion of almost every else in President Franklin Roosevelt’s entourage. The author suggests that even the influence of key foreign policy advisor Harry Hopkins faded during the war, and that Army Chief of Staff George Marshall did not count for much. On many occasions, Leahy outmaneuvers the not-so-bright Marshall. For example, in terms of Marshall’s call for a cross-Channel invasion in 1943 (Roundup), the author notes that Leahy opposed it and made sure that was never official U.S. policy.

My question for the H-Diplo community of scholars involves the role of George Kennan, which is also downplayed.
The author questions the State Department Office of the Historian’s claim that “Kennan ‘formulated’ the containment policy," and that Kennan’s ideas "became the basis of the Truman Administration’s foreign policy” (372).
He argues that "It is a bizarre view, as there is no evidence that President Truman ever read, or was even interested in, the Long Telegram. Leahy was aware of the document but paid it scant attention, not even mentioning Kennan’s existence in his diary until 1947...In truth, Kennan was a marginal figure in White House thinking” (372).
The author then writes that in 1946 Truman called for “one document combining the ideas of the top people in his administration” regarding the U.S.-Soviet relationship. He notes that Leahy “had more influence over its final shape than any other policy maker...The paper that Leahy wrote with his own ideas is one of the most revealing documents he ever produced.” The author includes a discussion of how Leahy organized his thoughts. Leahy analyzed Soviet behavior and then produced a set of policy recommendations, “a more subtle policy than was offered by anyone else close to the president.” The final document “was the real precursor document to the policy of containment...It was also the high point of Leahy’s influence over the road into the Cold War” (398-401).
Leahy’s memo contributing to the final report is reproduced as Appendix C to the book. Amazingly, what is reproduced, in fact, is the Long Telegram, reduced to bullet format. It was not “inspired by” the Long Telegram, it is a summary of the Telegram itself. While some sections are omitted, every single idea that Leahy included is in the precise order used in the Telegram, in always similar and often precisely the same language.
How do the experts on the topic out there react to this line of argument?
I would appreciate some guidance from the community on this point, because I lecture about it.
W. Gregory Perett
George Washington University,

Nenhum comentário: