Remembering the Future

Taking seriously the admonition that those who forget the past are doomed to repeat its mistakes.

Issue: Spring 2000

Even though it has been ten years since the Berlin Wall came down, we still have no better name for the period in which we live than "the post-Cold War era." True, many have aspired to play the role of the next George Kennan--defining American strategy for this new era that does not yet have a name--but so far none has succeeded. Moreover, given the rate at which many politicians and commentators have been revising their recollections of their own stances during the period 1946-91, it may not be too long before someone disputes Kennan's authorship of the original containment strategy. For it seems that now, safely after the event, we have all become cold warriors.

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