did that it would not be fought

did we get out of that alive if you think
about the number of weapons that were piled up if you think about the level of
antagonism that existed between the two superpowers force the law if you think
about mankind having developed in this conflict the capacity to end civilization
in the process of fighting this cold war how is it that the Cold War remained cold
in the first place who do we have to thank for that fact which is perhaps the
most important fact of the 20th century maybe of even a longer
period of time well there are hundreds of thousands perhaps millions of people
who should be thanked for this on both sides whose caution whose unwillingness
to go to the brink kept this conflict cold but it seems to me that these
actions also had to be animated by an idea by a concept there had to be a
strategy in there somewhere and this is for Kenan was extraordinarily important
because at the end of World War two when it became apparent that Stalin was not
going to continue to be our glorious ally as he had been throughout much of
World War two a state of great perplexity fell over Washington and other
Western capitals there were many people who jumped to the conclusion that
Stalin was simply another Hitler and that therefore there was no alternative
but to have or prepare for a third world war with the Soviet Union which is
already in control at this point of 1945 of half of Europe and the difference
would be that this war would be fought with atomic weapons we had developed
them by 1945 it was clear that the Russians would soon develop them and they
developed them sooner than we thought by 1949 and so there was no assurance if
a war did break out that it would not be fought with nuclear weapons and thus
with a level of violence and the lethality far greater than anything that had
happened in World War two so that was one option and Washington was full of
people who were advocating simply preparation for a third world war the other
option was to appease the Soviet Union the other option was to try to talk them
out of it the other option was to try to make the concessions that would be
necessary to satisfy the Soviet Union to make the Stalin regime a normal member
of the international system of course that’s what had been tried rather
disastrously with Nazi Germany back in the late 1930s not so much by the
Americans but by the Western European democracies and of course with Hitler it
had totally failed but there were enough people in Washington who still hoped
for a rebuilding of the wartime brand alliance who still sympathized with the
role that the Soviet Union had played during the war in fighting the Germans
who still even sympathized with the Soviet social experiment because the future
of capitalism itself did not look too bright at the end of World War two there was
no guarantee that recovery from the depression really was going to stick and so
there were plenty of people who supported the idea that we should make whatever
concessions are necessary to the Soviet Union in order to prevent this conflict
from escalating