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 Spring

America the Despised. (Letter from Athens)
IN THE summer of 1999, the popular Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis said during an interview: "I hate Americans and everything American. I hope that the youth will begin to hate everything American." This most popular of Greek contemporary composers--a...
A Poet Passes: Leopold Sedar Senghor Remembered
IN 1961, less than twelve months after the independence of both Mauritania and Senegal, I was in my last year of high school at Van Vollenhoven, the prestigious French lycee in Dakar, Senegal. I still remember the beautiful green, white and beige...
Cruise Control: A Case for Missile Defense
THE SEPTEMBER 11, 2001 terrorist attacks have reshaped whole swaths of debate over U.S. foreign and national security policies. Certainly, the issue of homeland security is a case in point. In that context, it was inevitable that the various partisans...
Disraeli's Secret
QUEEN Victoria's favorite prime minister, Benjamin Disraeli (1803-81), seems at first glance impossibly far removed from our experience. Novelist, wit, orator, arguably the founder of Britain's modern Conservative Party, Disraeli was an exotic to...
Freedom and Duty: Pericles and Our Times
MID WAY through the long article on Afghanistan in the eleventh edition of The Encyclopedia Britannica, one comes across this description of the inhabitants of that ancient mountain country: The Afghans, inured to bloodshed from childhood, are...
Law in Order: Reconstructing U.S. National Security
FEW TOOLS of U.S. foreign policy are as vitally important and as consistently overlooked as law enforcement. Terrorism, organized crime, drug trafficking, arms smuggling, sanctions busting and foreign corruption are serious challenges confronting...
Letters
God and Mammon: Daniel Pipes rightly argues that militant Islam often surges in countries experiencing rapid economic growth ("God and Mammon", Winter 2001/02). Nowhere is this phenomenon more pronounced and conspicuous than in India's Muslim...
One Hundred Years of Ambiguity: U.S.-Cuba Relations in the 20th Century
Double standards are inspiration to men of letters, but they are apt to be fatal to politicians. . . . Modern politics is, at bottom, a struggle not of men but of forces. The men become every year more and more creatures of force, massed about central...
Popper's Return Engagement: The Open Society in an Era of Globalization
THE NOTION of a contrast between open and closed societies, which was introduced by Henri Bergson and made popular by Karl Popper, is now familiar even to people who have read neither the former 's The Two Sources of Morality and Religion (1932)...
The Higher Police: Vladimir Putin and His Predecessors
SO MUCH HAS changed in Russia since the fall of the Soviet Union that it is easy to overlook some things that have not changed. One of the most significant of these constants is the continued importance of an intelligence elite that has existed...
The New Cuba Divide
THE U.S. embargo of Cuba has been an extraordinarily resilient foreign policy, able to weather diverse political trends and even historical eras without substantial challenge. Change is afoot, however, and the best evidence of that change may be...
The Other Orientalism: China's Islamist Problem
A GENERATION ago, men of divergent personal appearance, political experience, and cultural inheritance ascended to political leadership in the Third World and decided to embrace a transcendent secular radicalism. Whatever their inherited differences,...
The Peace Process at Sea: The Karine-A Affair and the War on Terrorism
ON JANUARY 3, in the clouds high above the waters of the Red Sea, Lt. General Shaul Mofaz, chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces, peered anxiously through a specially designed telescopic lens at an old, rusty, blue freighter several kilometers...
Weak Realpolitik: The Vicissitudes of Saudi Bashing. (Quarterly)
ABOUT SIXTY years ago, R.G. Collingwood wrote, "Every new generation must rewrite history in its own way." (1) Inasmuch as his thinking was suspended somewhere between hope for a science of history and an awareness of its practical limits, philosophers...