The National Interest

A bimonthly digest of national and international politic affairs. Articles feature essays and debate on the interactions and relationships between the United States and other nations.

Articles from Winter

Couldn't Be Worse? Iraq after Saddam
THE MAIN working hypothesis, taken almost as an act of faith and embraced by many Western policymakers and pundits since the end of the Gulf War, is that the West's "Iraq problem"--and most of Iraq's problems, too--would be easily solved once President...
Curtains for the Ba'ath
EVEN BEFORE September 11, 2001, the Bush Administration faced difficult challenges and choices as it charted U.S. policy toward Iraq. The period of Iraqi quiescence following Operation Desert Fox in December 1998 was clearly over, the containment regime...
Cyprus: The Predictable Crisis
MOST international crises take leaders by surprise. While the region or issue that might blow up can often be identified in advance, the timing and contour of any particular crisis usually cannot. The coming dispute between Turkey and the European...
God and Mammon: Does Poverty Cause Militant Islam?
THE EVENTS of September have intensified a longstanding debate: What causes Muslims to turn to militant Islam? Some analysts have noted the poverty of Afghanistan and concluded that herein lay the problem. Jessica Stern of Harvard University wrote...
Letters
The Next NATO: James Kurth's "The Next NATO" (Fall 2001) had a subtitle that may be more relevant now than it was when first published: "Building an American Commonwealth of Nations." Little did he know, of course, that the ghastly but brilliant...
Odom's Russia: A Forum
WILLIAM Odom's essay, "Realism About Russia ", in the Fall 2001 issue of The National Interest put forth a stark and controversial view of Russia prospects and of how US. policy should adapt to those prospects. In the interest of generating a conversation...
Retail Diplomacy: The Edifying Story of UN Dues Reform
PERHAPS THE most widely heard and trenchant criticism of the Bush Administration's foreign policy before September 11 was that it displayed a wilful and counterproductive unilateralism. Clearly, since the terrorist attacks, that policy has changed:...
Small Mercies: China and America after 9/11
"THIS CHANGES every thing" was Senator Chuck Hagel's verdict as he surveyed the transmogrified landscape of international and domestic politics in the immediate wake of the "911" attacks. Others, such as retiring senator and China nemesis Jesse Helms,...
The Law at War: How Osama Slipped Away
IN THE SPRING of 1996, the White House was preoccupied with Bosnia--implementing the Dayton Agreement, ferrying American troops across the Sava River, building facilities at Tuzia, attempting to install an unworkable three-headed government in Sarajevo,...
The Risks of Victory: An Historian's Provocation
IF IT is true, as so many pundits rushed to tell us after the events of September 11, 2001, that everything is different, all is changed, and nothing will ever again be the same, then it follows that the study of history is unlikely to provide any...
The World of Achilles: Ancient Soldiers, Modern Warriors
NOTHING IS great, writes Seneca, "which is nor at the same time calm." (1) In contrast to warriors, gladiators, he goes on to say, "are protected by skill but left defenseless by anger." We should pay attention to Seneca, because the American statesmen...
Tightening the Screws: The Economic War against Terrorism
SHORT OF the actual use of force, economic sanctions are among the U.S. government's most powerful tools in the war on terrorism. They seek to deprive terrorist organizations of the financial wherewithal to support and conduct operations such as the...