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

American Sovereignty and the UN
EARLIER THIS year, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan delivered an address to the General Assembly in which he declared that "the last right of states cannot and must not be the right to enslave, persecute or torture their own citizens." The peoples of...
China: Getting the Questions Right
THE CHALLENGE presented by a rising China is the principal issue facing American foreign policy. This is not always obvious to most Americans or even to many of our leaders. Since the end of the Cold War, defense policy has been absorbed in second-order...
Colombia: Crossing a Dangerous Threshold
ALTHOUGH THE United States has been involved deeply in Colombia's internal affairs for some time, we stand now on the threshold of a momentous change in the nature of that involvement. This has provoked intense, if not always edifying, debate. Perhaps...
German Fictions: An Exchange
Jan-Werner Mueller, Center for European Studies, Harvard University: FOUR years ago, Jacob Heilbrunn, writing in Foreign Affairs' November/December 1996 issue, advanced the notion that Germany was turning more nationalist with the rise of a "New...
Human Nature and Human Rights
IN THE CLOSING months of his presidency, Bill Clinton and some of his entourage have taken to using the buzzphrase "human and political rights" to replace the simpler "human rights." A call to the White House press office produced no explanation of...
Jumping to Confusions
IT IS A RARE moment for those who contemplate international politics when a dramatic event suddenly clarifies seemingly insoluble arguments over basic principles and policies. Such moments are of two basic types: those that repudiate a course of action...
Letters
Living With Russia: Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski is broadly correct in his bleak picture of Russia today ("Living With Russia", Fall 2000), but there is one aspect of his essay that is truly puzzling: where he advocates the Turkey of Kemal Ataturk and...
The Deconstruction of Death
The Coming Politics of Biotechnology SINCE THE eighteenth century, a succession of technological revolutions has transformed the human condition and the course of history. First, the steam engine took center stage. By the end of the nineteenth century,...
The Rocky Shoals of International Law
ALTHOUGH international law has always been a consideration for American foreign policymakers, it has rarely commanded the focus of their attentions. Under the next president, this will have to change. Since the Cold War's end, a number of international...
Where Does Russia Belong?
OVER THE PAST half decade, our debate about Russia-- and, for that matter, Russia's debate about us--has been episodic but always excitable. The issue or problem dominating the news at any given moment has been seen again and again as the test likely...