Monday, February 27, 2012

Thinking Through Iran With the Help of George Kennan

I'm reading John Lewis Gaddis's George F. Kennan: An American Life. I've written a couple of longish posts over at Nuclear Diner trying to apply some of his thinking to today's situation with Iran (here and here).

One of the things I'm impressed by as I try to put myself into Kennan's mindset is how readily and exclusively the modern strategic mind (yes, let's call it that; or we could talk about Very Serious People) gravitates to the use of military force. Hardly any attempt to think out smart ways of putting an adversary in a bind. And I felt I really needed an adjective to clarify what kind of bind, but couldn't think of a good one. A symptom either of our current conceptual insufficiency or my mental inadequacy.

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