Modern Political Warfare

Political Warfare
Political Warfare

The term “political warfare” is often attributed to famed American diplomat George Kennan, who wrote about the phenomenon at the early stages of the Cold War. In a May 4, 1948, policy memorandum, Kennan—then head of the State Department’s policy planning staff—drafted the statement cited at the forefront of this chapter. Kennan, whose career straddled the diplomatic and intelligence worlds, envisioned a far-reaching battle for influence—waged below the threshold of traditional state-on-state conflict—using all the levers of national power (Corke, 2006, p. 105). Kennan viewed the struggle between the United States and the Soviet Union as not simply a matter of state competition, but a battle of ideologies between liberal democracy and Communism, and political warfare became one of the primary means to conduct this new form of war (Kennan to the Secretary of State, 1946).1

Modern Political Warfare

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