If ever there was a time for Kevin Rudd to have a George F. Kennan moment it seems to be right about now and besides considerable differences of time and place perhaps a few similarities too are gleamed from Nicholas Thompson’s ‘Ideas Man: The legacy of George F. Kennan’. Kennan defined containment strategy in the ‘Long Telegram’ and article ‘X’ in 1947 and was Soviet analyst in the Foreign Service before becoming head of the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff in the Truman administration and central in the Marshall Plan. Rudd was both Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister and speaks Chinese. He is also from out of town from neither Victoria or New south Wales and is a Christian who swears. Kennan’s words seem to suit Rudd’s predicament “Men- or at least such men as I- are no good unless they are driven, hounded, haunted, forced to spend every day as though it were the last they were to spemd on earth”. If the comparison is right for no other reason than the possibility of a new cold war in the face of global instability doesn’t the soap opera seem more like a tragedy and something that never should be and must be overcome?
Reference: Foreign Affairs Vol.91 Iss 1 2012 (US). Nicholas Thompson, ‘Ideas Man’ p.148.