GEOG 128
Geography of International Affairs

The Global Geopolitical Codes of the US


The scale of US geopolitical code has transitioned from having a local code to a regional code to a national code by the end of the 1800s. The evolution of the US geopolitical code is briefly outlined in Flint (2016, p 58). The text identifies NCS-68, written during President Truman’s administration, as a key document outlining the global geopolitical code of the US at the time, but it also served to influence the geopolitical code in the decades following.

National Security Council-68

For a historical overview of NSC-68, see The U.S. Department of State Office of the Historian website.

If you are interested in a scanned pdf of the original document NSC-68, go to the Truman Library.

The means of the geopolitical code were twofold:

  1. NSC-68 claimed a “policy to develop a healthy international community” (a geopolitical agenda).
  2. The document outlined a “policy of ‘containing’ the Soviet system” or negating the ideological and geopolitical challenger.

What were the goals of the containment policy?

What were the contradictions of NSC-68?

How was the US geopolitical code represented for domestic and for international audiences?