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 No. 53, Fall

America and the Euro Gamble
As the American foreign policy establishment has been preoccupied in recent months with such things as the fall of Suharto, the Indian bomb, and Kosovo - all serious issues - an event of much greater long-term significance has received scant attention....
China Studies in McCarthy's Shadow: A Personal Memoir
A Personal Memoir Great differences among academics and personal antagonisms in their fields of specialization are common in the best of times. But the 1950s were not the best of times. In what was to become known as the McCarthy era, differences within...
City of Bad Omens
As every schoolboy would once have known, traditionally the Chinese have believed that a dynasty reigns because it has been vouchsafed divine approval - the Mandate of Heaven. According to this belief, extensive natural or man-made catastrophes demonstrate...
Embassies at Risk
The last crushed bodies had scarcely been extricated from the car-bombed carnage of the American embassies in Dar es-Salaam and Nairobi when the cry went up to harden security at 280 U.S. diplomatic posts around the world, turning them into isolated...
Globalism and the American Tide
When Napoleon reorganized French administrative units, Frances Cairncross tells us, he chose a size for the departement that would permit officials to travel anywhere within it and still be home for dinner. As Cairncross observes, on-the-spot investigation...
Inside the Cave: The Banality of I.R. Studies
The twentieth century has certainly been among the most - if not the most - grand and dramatic centuries in the history of international relations. In the military sphere, there was the First World War, the Second World War, and the Cold War (really...
Machiavelli's Realism
This new translation of Machiavelli's The Prince appears as part of a series called "Rethinking the Western Tradition." Now, the Western tradition is rather odd as traditions go, for it is a tradition of subversion. The tradition that Machiavelli was...
Raise the Anchor or Lower the Ship: Defense Budgeting and Planning
Defense Budgeting and Planning It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but rather the one most adaptable to change. Charles Darwin Strategy is always simple, but it is not for that reason easy. Karl von Clausewitz...
Serious about Sanctions
Self-inflicted wounds. Chicken soup diplomacy. Boomerangs. Good intentions gone bad. These clipped responses reflect the accepted wisdom among policy cognoscenti about the scant value of economic sanctions to the United States. Even Hollywood is derisive;...
Strong State, Weaker Theory
A group of five Americans gathered in Paris a century ago to negotiate an end to the Spanish-American War. President William McKinley had already decided to take the Philippines from Madrid's decrepit empire but had cunningly included in the peace delegation...
The Indonesian Debacle: What Americans Need to Know and Do
Something very important is happening in Southeast Asia, but its significance has yet to register fully in America. Indonesia, the Brazil of Southeast Asia, is in very deep trouble. It has often been said that, as the world's fourth-largest country,...