ERIC Number: ED257693
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1984-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
The Social Construction of the Soviet Threat.
Nathanson, Charles E.; Skelly, James M.
For almost 40 years the perception of a Soviet threat has influenced much foreign and domestic political behavior in the United States. How to respond to the threat has been a subject of intense debate, but the reality of the threat has been taken for granted. Conviction about the reality of this threat dates back to George Kennan's long telegram of 1946 in which he described what he believed to be the Soviet world view, one dominated by an unrealistic appraisal of Western intentions, governed by internal considerations, and dedicated to total destruction of rival power. This perception of the Soviet Union provided a justification, previously lacking, for an American military buildup and a new foreign policy stance toward the Soviet Union. This occurred at a time when the United States felt uncertain about its own position in the world; the atomic bomb had just been developed, and important changes were occurring in the American political and economic system. To call into question our conviction about a Soviet threat would call into question the entire military industrial system which has developed in the United States since World War II and would force us to rethink our goals once again. (IS)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States; USSR