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. 81, Fall

Assessing the China Threat
AFTER A period of calm in U.S.-Chinese relations, in which U.S. China policy stressed economic engagement, cooperation against terrorism and stability in the Taiwan Strait, attention has returned to the military and economic rise of China and the challenges...
A Tale of Three Cities
THE WORLD watches as resident Bush relentlessly promotes democracy in the turbulent Middle East and Central Asia. Criticisms vary: Democracy is a confection of the West; Islam is in fundamental conflict with democracy; and most repugnant (and semi-racist),...
Blending Democracy: The Generational Project in the Middle East
MAY 16 marked a major watershed in Kuwait's political history. By a margin of 35 to 23, that country's Assembly extended the franchise to women, making it the fourth Gulf country to do so. Yet the impetus for the legislation did not stem from advocates...
China's Rise, Asia's Dilemma
FOR THE past decade, reaping the benefits of the dynamic Chinese economy has dominated Asia's China strategies. This is hardly surprising. While China's real GDP in 2004 was well below the GDPs of the United States and Japan, if one uses purchasing...
Debating the Red Cross
In "Double-Red-Crossed" (Spring 2005), Lee A. Casey and David B. Rivkin, Jr. challenge the effectiveness of the work of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), particularly in relation to the United States. First, in relation to the...
Defining Victory
AMERICA HAS no choice but to succeed in Iraq. The country's collapse could fuel chaos in the Middle East; a terrorist base there could support new attacks in America, in the region, in Europe and worldwide. The consequences of defeat in Iraq extend...
Finding the Lost Peace
IN CONCLUDING my book last year, I suggested that we might find the missing peace when Yasir Arafat passed from the scene and it became possible to get beyond the dysfunction he cultivated. Little did I suspect he would die before the end of 2004....
Intelligence Reform
Not long ago, during one of the many terrorism alerts we have endured in Washington, it was made clear that even on matters related to the terrorist threat to the U.S. homeland, our intelligence agencies still refuse to share information. Two important...
In the Wake of War: Getting Serious about Nation-Building
EARLIER THIS summer, Bagdhad's mayor, Alaa Mahmoud al-Timimi, threatened to resign over shortfalls in funding for infrastructure rehabilitation, especially for the city's unreliable water supply. Recent rebuilding efforts were set back when insurgents...
Iranian Beliefs and Realities
THE SPINES of Western leaders shivered following the election of Tehran's mayor, hardliner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, as Iran's next president. And for good reason. Ahmadinejad's resume and rhetoric are not pretty. He was a member of the ideological Revolutionary...
Kings of the East: American Evangelicals and U.S. China Policy
THE RECENT passage of China's anti-secession law has raised fears in Washington and Taipei that Beijing may use the legislation to declare war on Taiwan. For some fundamentalist Christians, this is just a further sign of the End Times. According to...
Paradigm Lost: The Demise of "Weak China"
IN THE heady days of the 1990s, "globalization" was a phenomenon requiring "others" to marketize and eventually democratize. Unfortunately, less time was spent considering how globalization, and China's multi-dimensional entry into the world system,...
Realism Is Right
Last year, in delivering a lecture on the centenary of Hans Morgenthau's birth at the BMW Stiftung Herbert Quandt, I addressed the question of what position Morgenthau would have taken on the Iraq War. (The full text is available at www.opendemocracy.net)...
Seoul Searching: Ending the U.S.-Korean Alliance
WHY SHOULD the United States maintain troops in the Republic of Korea (ROK)? What American interests are being served by the alliance? Officials in both capitals maintain that the alliance remains as relevant as ever. The two governments insist that...
The Business of Insurgency: The Expansion of Iraq's Shadow Economy
MEDIA ATTENTION on the insurgency in Iraq has tended to focus on dramatic incidents or horrific acts of violence. At the same time, policymakers in the United States and other coalition countries have often viewed the insurgency in largely political...
The Case for "Integration"
IN 2005 we saw the 101st anniversary of the birth, and the death, of George Kennan, widely acknowledged as the principal architect of containment, the doctrine that guided U.S. foreign policy for roughly forty years of the Cold War. Containment--in...
The European Union Is Dead
IN 1865, Viscount Palmerston, prime minister of England, lay dying. As is only too human, the great man desperately rejected the diagnosis. When Palmerston's physician broke the news to the elderly statesman that he was about to expire, he replied...
The New Great Game
OF ALL the regional powers vying for influence in Central Asia, China is likely to have the most lasting and broad impact. Geographical proximity and security and economic interests all play a factor in the region becoming a top strategic priority...
Understanding Saddam
THE RECENT reports of the Senate Intelligence Committee, the Iraq Survey Group, and the Presidential WMD Commission regarding intelligence and weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in Iraq offer many useful insights into Iraq's weapons programs and the...