ABSTRACT

President Harry S Truman's decision to stop "babying" the Soviets seemed justified by events during the first months of 1946, especially resolution of the Iranian crisis. In mid-February, the Canadian government announced it had arrested twenty-two individuals on charges of obtaining information on the atomic bomb for the Soviet Union. Truman later boasted that the Soviet Union pulled out because he had given Stalin an ultimatum. "Capitalist encirclement," with which there could be no lasting peace, compelled the Soviets to pursue two goals: Transform Russia into an impregnable bastion and try to set capitalist powers against one another. Truman sought coexistence, but believed it could be achieved only by dealing with the Soviets from positions of strength they were bound to respect. He had acquired his militance reluctantly. On February 22, in response to a State Department request, George Kennan sent a five-part cable stating his interpretation of Soviet behavior and his recommendations for America's response.