How did the Long Telegram (1946) affect the USA and USSR alliance?

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In truth, there wasn't much left to the war-time alliance between the United States and the USSR by the time that Kennan wrote his famous telegram. Tensions between the two countries had been growing, especially as the Soviet Union began flexing its muscles in Europe. The possibility of armed conflict seemed an ever-present prospect. However, Kennan took the long view. In an age of atomic warfare, he knew just how catastrophic a war between the two superpowers would be. With that in mind, he laid the foundations for the United States' strategy for the remainder of the Cold War—containment.

Kennan had no illusions about the dangers of Communism nor of the Soviet Union's "expansive tendencies" as he called them. But he felt that the best way to counter the Soviet threat was not through armed confrontation—not directly, at any rate—but through the robust application of counter-force. Such force would be diplomatic, economic, and institutional. America's allies would be staunchly...

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